Media Immersion Pods – Social Escape Hatch

Of course I would want to experienced being in one of these “pods”, surrounded by technology, music and manga, isn’t that what heaven is like?


Media Immersion Pods – described as “drug dens for internet addicts” – are the latest craze occupying Japan’s urban young. The pods are small cubicles that can be rented out and contain DVDs, computer games, internet, manga comics, and food and drink. Richard Kimber from BBC World Service’s Culture Shock programme tried one out at Bagus Gran Cyber Cafe in Tokyo.
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Apparently, the Cyber Cafes offer an oasis away from modern Japanese society where someone can shed their social encasement in favor of anonymity. In the “real” world, Japanese society is very structured to the point that an individual’s interactions and modus operandi are significantly influenced by their job, family, social status, etc. Cyber Cafe users are able to pursue their fantasies without reality intruding on them. There are even pods for couples, where couples watch porn and make out, without regard for others just a cube over.
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LL cities takes a toll, and at times all city dwellers have to take their leave. When life in Istanbul gets too stressful, people can head to the baths. In Rio there’s the beach. In Tokyo, though, the antidote to urban overload is more of the same. In the world’s most media-saturated city, people take a break by checking themselves into media immersion pods: warrens cluttered with computers, TV’s, video games and every other entertainment of the electronic age. The Bagus Gran Cyber Cafes are Tokyo’s grand temples of infomania. Situated well above retail level, on the odd floor number where in Manhattan you might find tarot readers or nail salons, these establishments contain row after row of anonymous cubicles. At first glance the spread looks officelike, but be warned: these places are drug dens for Internet addicts.
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Gran Cyber Cafe