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Check Out Sense of Wonder Night, Streaming Live from TGS

Posted on Thursday, September 20 @ 16:31:05 Eastern by Heath_Hindman

Sense of Wonder Night is, without question, the best-kept secret of the Tokyo Game Show. Even though it plays out to a full conference room every year, we're not talking about a very big conference room. Out of those who do attend, it's a decent bet that most of the newcomers find out about it by wandering past the door on the way to the wind-down snack bar. Last year, people I ran into from big websites like IGN and Destructoid hadn't even heard of it, much less attended. And the people who do get to see the show and the great games that are put together don't usually write about it on their siteblogs because that won't garner hits like "Shiny Quad-A Megatrailer!" would.

Here's me trying to change that: Sense of Wonder Night is awesome, and you can and should support it by watching it on Ustream. (Note: The past three years, SOWN has been hosted by an enthusiastic bilingual presenter, so you don't even need to speak a single word of Japanese to watch and enjoy it.) I have left TGS every year for the last four feeling like SoWN was one of the top moments.

The stated objectives of Sense of Wonder Night are to "introduce games with a game design and ideas that are experimental and creative, and that cannot be called conventional or traditional" and to "heighten awareness of the importance of creating a game that gives people a 'sense of wonder', a sense that something will change in their world, and to invigorate the game industry."

So basically it showcases artsy indie games, right? Not necessarily. Entrants have ranged from dabbling hobbyists who would never actually enter the market, all the way up to developers from companies like Konami who had the resources to give their ambitious personal project shape and form. Plenty of these games have made their way to the market, like QUBE, Eufloria and refl0w. Others have gone on to win awards elsewhere and become hotly anticipated, like Hazard: The Journey of Life, now known as Antichamber.

The event is tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 21 from 5:30-8:00pm in Japan. If you're in North America, that puts the starting time at 1:30am PST and 4:30am EST. I feel like there are encores or replays, but for some reason, previous shows are not available to view right now. But hey, support the good, growing part of the game industry: get up at a weird time in the morning to watch Sense of Wonder Night. You don't even have anything important to do tomorrow.


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