I have read about the superior technology in Japan. It’s amazing how many electronics have been improved or invented by Japanese companies—cars, cell phones, TVs, computer products, and so much more. One market that Japanese companies dominate is video games. Sony and Nintendo have consistently pushed video gaming to new levels.
I love video games especially RPGs like Final Fantasy, hence FF663. I find the differences between the Japanese and American video gaming markets amusing. I noticed that there are more video gaming titles in Japan than in America. I can understand why American companies don’t license adult sexually oriented games, but I find it interesting that they also don’t bring over dating games. With The Sims having been a hit, I thought American companies might want to expand Americans’ horizons.
With the rise of anime and awareness of Japanese culture in America, it only makes sense for more video games distributed in the U.S. that were originally released in Japan; within the past few years, there have been a significant increase in video games based on anime series as well as popular games in Japan that haven’t been brought over. Dragon Quest, I’m looking at you! All this talk of video games reminds me to get back to Final Fantasy XII. I hope I can get the Nintendo Wii soon so that I can play the newest Legend of Zelda and all the highly anticipated games due out in the next few months.
After my acceptance into the JET program, I had other errands to run. Along with my acceptance letter, I received many other slips of paper. I needed to send back a reply form with my contact information and two passport photos. I also needed to get my fingerprints done and submit it to the FBI so they can process my Criminal History Record. Let’s hope my sleepwalking doesn’t come back to haunt me! Well, don’t worry, I don’t sleepwalk. I was fully aware of all my bad actions… Anyway, I also needed to get a health form filled out by a doctor noting for any of the usual bad things like tuberculosis, diseases, lack of a soul…
At first everything was going well. I made an appointment for three days past my receiving the form with a doctor in Miami who takes Oxford (as United Healthcare), and easily got my health form filled out. He was an interesting doctor. As he was filling out the form, he said, “You don’t need an x-ray. This form looks like it’s just for technical b.s.” The following day, I went to a police station to get my fingerprinting done. It was fast, good, and cheap. Too bad services usually aren’t so excellent. Immediately, I drove to an UPS Store to get my two passport photos, a form notarized, and mail my documents through certified mail. At the end of the day, I happily went back to my apartment with confirmation numbers in hand so I can check the status of my deliveries.
Fast forward to two weeks later and I notice that my envelope to the Consulate General of Japan in New York had not yet arrived whereas the delivery to the FBI was confirmed. I called the UPS Store, and they had no idea where it could be. I e-mailed the consulate, and I was told to fax the form. Also, I informed them that if they didn’t receive it by the deadline, I would send another copy express. So to quickly finish this story, another day of passport photos and shipping out another copy with FedEx priority overnight ended up giving the consulate two copies because the day when my FedEx envelope arrived, my original one also arrived. This isn’t exactly UPS’ fault, but I wish there was a better confirmation system with certified mail. I guess that’s the trick. One would have to pay more money for that. Ah, the beauty of Capitalism.
Stay tuned next week for thoughts on languages and preliminary thoughts on teaching as a JET!
今週の写真: Here’s a test with my camera. It’s a picture of what I received in the mail included with my placement notification from the consulate: The JET Programme: General Information Handbook and Japanese for JETs.