Video Game Cities Are Too Convenient to Feel Real

When I wake up in Shibuya, before I even know what today's mission is, I am building a battle plan. All my favorite stores have new clothing to try on, and I want to do a little shopping today, walking all the way from Udagawa to Takeshita Street to Shibuya Stream. On the way I'm hoping to grab a bite, stopping either at the donburi place on Center street, but saving room for a bubble tea on Spain Hill. It'll be exhausting, and most likely drain my wallet, but that's Shibuya for you.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Very good essay partly because it’s a good reminder that people enjoy game for very different reason than I do. I live in a big city. Like the author I have also tried to solve the puzzle of getting between Chicago’s North Side and its Logan Square neighborhood. I too find joy in knowing shortcuts, the quiet local bars, and the streets that always have parking in various neighborhoods. Because I do that in real life I have very little interest in having those things recreated in a video game. Spiderman is a great example. I rarely fast traveled in that game because the web-swinging was so different from how I experience cities in real life. I want games that allow me to view and interact with spaces in different ways from what I can in real life. Because I can just go and interact with the real world and all it’s associated complications whenever I want.


I was thinking about things I’d like to see in open world games, and people becoming more familiar and friendly as you visit them over and over again was one of my most wanted things, so it’s really cool that this game has that.

Also Xenoblade-style relationship map? chef’s kiss


Nice thoughts buddy! :joy:

Playing the original right now and really loving the writing. I’m glad Gita liked it! I’ve seen some hesitance from other sites. Think I’ll play this sometime in 2026 when I’m nostalgic for the best Nintendo Switch “hidden gems.”