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Japan group teaches how to grab toys in arcade crane games

The Japan Times

For people who have spent a shameful amount of time and money trying to win a cheesy prize with the crane toys in game arcades, here are some words of consolation from the Japan Crane Game Association: The game is not for suckers, and anyone can play it well if they learn the tricks. Since March 2015, the association, based in Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture, has been organizing get-togethers to share know-how on winning -- and to accredit what it calls the "Crane Game Masters." Last Thursday, Children's Day, the association held a competition for children that attracted 20 players. For the Crane Game Master Grade 3 test held that day, clerks at Sekaiichi no Gemu Senta Eburidei Gyoda (The World's No. 1 Game Center Everyday Gyoda) demonstrated each of the 12 known "skills" across the store, using 12 booths stocked with prizes that each skill is suited for. Children were asked to listen, take notes and then were given 30 minutes to practice for free.

Saitama maker of stylish 'tabi' footwear looks to revitalize hometown via overseas growth

The Japan Times

SAITAMA – A local maker of traditional tabi split-toed footwear is looking to widen overseas sales channels after its fashionable items gained traction in France. Musashino Uniform, which runs a shop specializing in work clothes in Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture, exhibited a lineup of tabi footwear tinged with pop-art colors and modern designs at the Japan Expo in Paris in July 2015. The items received positive reactions and the company has since paid more attention to foreign markets in the hope of helping revitalize its hometown, which was once a major tabi manufacturing center. Ankle-high and with metal clasps usually used as a fastening device at the back, tabi are an essential accessory of traditional kimono. They have the distinction of separating the big toe from the other toes and have often been worn with thonged footgear.

Osaka arcade chief and six staff held over alleged rigging of crane games

The Japan Times

OSAKA – The operator and six employees of Osaka-based arcade chain were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of defrauding four customers of ¥470,000 ($4,150) by encouraging them to play rigged crane game machines.

Everyone's a winner in Taiwan's claw crane game craze

The Japan Times

TAIPEI – As Taiwan's economy stagnates, claw crane arcades where customers pay to manipulate a robotic grabber in an attempt to pick a prize from within a glass box are booming as affordable entertainment, while operators see them as a way to make a fast buck. According to official figures, there is one claw crane outlet for every two convenience stores in Taiwan, with the number more than doubling last year to become the fourth-largest tax source in the entertainment industry. For as little as 10 New Taiwan dollars (33 cents), customers lower a metal claw into a pile of prizes, which are usually soft toys but can also include electronic gadgets and fashion accessories. Some claw machines stand in the corner of neighborhood grocery stores, while others sit in rows in brightly lit arcades spread out in residential and entertainment districts alike. A whole culture has built up around the craze -- enthusiasts give online tutorials on how to most effectively maneuver the claw, while other websites are devoted to swapping the toy prizes.

How to be an esports star without going pro, playing games like Solitaire and Madden NFL

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Almost 70,000 gamers are set to crowd Los Angeles Convention Center for the annual E3 expo, a highlight on the video game calendar. Some of the top attractions are esports, with competitions throughout the week attracting fans in droves. Fernando Lewis knew he was good at video games like Madden NFL and NBA 2K, but he wanted a better barometer of his skills. He signed up for some tournaments, but it wasn't easy to get regular competition in between them. Then he found Play One Up.