In a new travelogue, Japan-based Gamasutra writer Ryan Winterhalter explores the Sports Land arcade, a Tokyo venue for some of Japan's most ardent and hardcore Street Fighter players.
Ryan Winterhalter: "Shinjuku Sports Land: Shibuya Branch is not your typical arcade. Located in one of Tokyo's biggest shopping and clubbing spots, it's a place where you can find a game of Street Fighter or King of Fighters at almost anytime.
Whether it's geeks hanging out all night, couples on a date, or club kids taking a breather between venues, someone is always at Sports Land. Despite or maybe because of, the range of players, competition can be fierce.
"Oh man, you better bring your A-game when you come to Sports Land," one Shibuya club goer told me. To be sure, other arcades around the city have a tougher reputations, but Sports Land is no slouch. It's not the skill of the players, however, that make Sports Land notable."