Tired of the dai pan problem, arcade seeks to channel fists towards more appropriate target.

Though they’ve largely disappeared from the rest of the world, you can still find a lot of video game arcades in Japan. “Game centers,” as they’re called in Japanese, owe their continued survival to catering to two separate but equally important groups: non-gamers who want to snap photos in the sticker picture booths or win stuffed animals from the crane games, and dedicated gamers drawn to competitive video games with deep play mechanics.

So at first it’s a little weird that the Amusement Jam Jam arcade in the town of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, is taking the time to tell everyone about something that wouldn’t ordinarily appeal to either of those demographics: its Sonic Blast Heroes machine. The game came out all the way back in 2011, and it’s not particularly popular with casual or hardcore gamers, so why bother giving it a shout-out through the arcade’s official Twitter account?

Because the management is sick and tired of customers who’re playing other games engaging in “dai pan” (literally “machine hit”), pounding on a video game cabinet when they lose. This is particularly a problem with one-on-one fighting games and the Gundam: Extreme Vs. multi-player mech battle franchise.

See, in Sonic Blast Heroes (and Sonic Blast Man, which Heroes is the sequel to), you don’t play the game with a joystick and buttons. Instead, the game has a pop-up punching bag (marked with an arrow in the photo below) that you hit as hard as you can to defeat enemies.

So Amusement Jam Jam’s tweet is to remind everyone who just lost a close match in Tekken, Gundam, or whatever other digital arena they were doing battle in that if they can’t keep from throwing a hissy fit and absolutely have to pound on something, there’s a whole game specifically for that purpose, and that’s where they should direct their fists of frustration. “Do not do dai pan. Ever,” warns the tweet.

In an especially accommodating gesture, Amusement Jam Jam is even offering free plays of Sonic Blast Heroes to anyone who loses in Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. 2. As shown in the above photo, a placard on the Gundam machines reminds gamers that dai pan is prohibited, and follows up with:

“About our punching machine:

Customers playing Extreme Vs. 2 are allowed to use the punching machine one time each day free of charge!! If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please inform one of our employees.”

It’s unclear if this offer is extended to players of other competitive games as well, or is strictly for the Gundam crowd. Either way, it’s a clever strategy by Amusement Jam Jam to improve the atmosphere of the arcade. By the way, the placard also says that yelling/shrieking is prohibited, but in that case gamers will simply have to practice self-restraint and take a page from Japanese roller coaster riders and “scream inside their heart.”

Source: Twitter/@jam2_tsukuba via Twitter/@yuta090488881 via Hachima Kiko
Insert image: Wikipedia/物売り (edited by SoraNews24)
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