May 27, 2009

Press Release

Showcasing creative game ideas for the next generation.


Now Accepting presentation entries!

Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.

The Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA; Chairman: Yoichi Wada; Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo), in cooperation with Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. (Nikkei BP; President & CEO: Yasuo Hirata; Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo), will hold the TOKYO GAME SHOW 2009 over a four-day period from Thursday, September 24 to Sunday, September 27, 2009 at Makuhari Messe in Mihama-ku, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture. As in the last year, “SENSE OF WONDER NIGHT 2009” (SOWN) will be featured during the Show, in cooperation with the International Game Developers Association Japan Chapter (IGDA Japan; Representative: Kiyoshi Shin).

SOWN, first held last year, aims to discover new game ideas that will catch people by surprise and give them a “Sense of Wonder” — a sense that something will change in their world — right at the instant of seeing or hearing the concept. It spotlights motivated game developers by providing them with an opportunity to present their ideas and prototypes. Applications for presentations at SOWN 2009 are now being accepted.

Last year, it received 67 entries from 14 countries and regions. 11 titles were selected for presentation, including 4 from outside Japan. The audience of more than 500 people from 22 countries and regions gathered for the presentations as well as for the concurrently-held International Party. It was a truly international event and ended in a great success.

The SOWN 2009 office began inviting entries to SOWN 2009 on May 27 (Wed.). Entries will be accepted through August 16 (Sun). Innovative ideas are welcomed widely, regardless of the applicant’s amateur / professional status and nationality, and from both individuals and corporate bodies.

For more information on SOWN 2009, please refer to the attached outline. You can also find more details at the SOWN 2009 official website (

Event Outline

Event Title SENSE OF WONDER NIGHT 2009 (SOWN 2009)
Event Logo
Organized by Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA)
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. (Nikkei BP)
Cooperation by International Game Developers Association Japan Chapter (IGDA Japan)
Sponsored by To be announced
  • To introduce games with a game design and ideas that are experimental and creative, and that cannot be called conventional or traditional
  • 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
  • To offer people creating experimental games opportunities for the future
  • To create new domains in the game industry
Application Period May 27 (Wed.) – August 16 (Sun.), 2009 (Japan time)
Application Method Enter via the SOWN 2009 official website (
Qualification Open to all individuals regardless of nationality, age, or occupation (students, game producers, etc.), and to all corporate bodies
Screening Entries will be screened fairly by the SOWN 2009 Screening Committee to select up to 10 works for presentations at SOWN 2009.
SOWN 2009 Screening Committee Members (in random order):
  • Kenta Cho (ABA Games)
  • Simon Carless (Independent Games Festival / Gamasutra)
  • Kenji Sugiuchi (ENTERBRAIN, INC.)
  • Keita Takahashi (NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.)
  • Takashi Katayama (Vector Inc.)
  • Kiyoshi Shin (IGDA Japan)
Results The selected applicants will be directly contacted by the Management Office around August 26 (Wed.), 2009.

SOWN 2009 Presentation

Date September 25 (Fri.), 2009 (time TBD)
Venue Makuhari Messe — International Conference Halls (planned)
Admissions All Tokyo Game Show 2009 Business Day entry pass holders are welcome to attend the SOWN 2009 presentations. Details will be announced at a later date.
  • “Tokyo Game Show 2009” Business Day entry passes and invitations to the TGS Forum will be provided to the selected applicants who will be making presentations (presenters) at SOWN 2009.
  • All presenters are requested to arrive at the venue 4 hours prior to the presentation start time (presenters are responsible for bearing their own traveling expenses).
  • Each presenter will be given 10 minutes for their presentation.
  • Each presenter will be asked to present or demonstrate the game ideas to the audience. (There will be consecutive English-Japanese interpreting for all presentations.)
  • All presentations will be video recorded and uploaded on the website at a later date. Other information on the presented game ideas provided in advance will also be subject to release.


E-mail address for inquiries
All applicants are asked to specify
  1. Name (for teams, both the team name and the name of the person representing the team; for corporate bodies, the name of the company and department)
  2. Contact information, including e-mail address, telephone number, and district of residence (country name for those applying from outside Japan)
  3. Name of the game
  4. Three screen shots of the game
  5. Current degree of completion (%) and estimated degree of completion (%) at the time of presentation at SOWN 2009
  6. Game details
    • Outline of the game (within 400 words in English)
    • Unique elements that create a new game experience (within 30 words in English)
  7. URL on game information
    Where the game can be downloaded or moving images of the game are uploaded (private sites accepted) or website where information related to the game is available
  8. Presentation tools
    List of devices and equipment you will be bringing to make the presentation. (SOWN 2009 Management Office will only prepare a standard PC for game demos.)

If you wish to send moving image materials without disclosing them to the public, we recommend you to use the YouTube site ( Select [Private] in the Privacy setting, and add the user name “SenseOfWonderNight” to the List of Friends to allow access.

Game Application Guidelines

Games of any genre, platform, language, degree of completion, already released or non-released, which meet one or more of the following criteria
  1. A game realizing an innovative user interface
    A game that employs features such as natural language processing, image recognition or gesture control to present a new kind of experience
  2. A game created through an automatic generation process
    A game that creates a world where the game play or the environment in which the users are playing is changed dramatically according to selections made by the users
  3. A game with an interactive story-telling concept
    A game that presents a story experience in a new way with a potential of developing into a tool to create a totally new story
  4. A game with emergent elements
    A game that creates a new form of game play by skillfully incorporating the physical system into the game play elements and by combining AIs
  5. An amazing game
    Any kind of new, eye-grabbing, and impressive game!!
Games to which the following conditions apply will NOT meet the selection criteria:
  1. A game in which only the elements comprising the game are the key factor
    A game in which the newness and highlight are focused on the elements comprising the game (such as the background setting, situation, character design, graphics, story, audio, etc.) instead of the game itself
  2. A game of a new genre created by combining or rehashing existing genres
    However, a game providing a truly new game experience may be considered for acceptance.
  3. A game that is new only in targeting a specific user group
    A game will not be deemed as being new and innovative just because it is focused on a specific user group (such as female users or the elderly). However, a game providing a truly new game experience may be considered for acceptance.
  4. A game created for the purpose of demonstrating a technological innovation, experimental business model, or distribution mechanism
    Games of this kind will not be completely rejected from the screening process, but they must demonstrate that they are capable of directly and tangibly changing the game experience.

Note: The above guidelines are provided solely for the purpose of outlining the basic principles.