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Nele Noppe

Website Nico Nico Douga goes live ... house | The Japan Times Online - 0 views

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    With the use of AR, the altering of real-world environments on screen by computer-generated imagery, Web surfers watching the action from their laptops will see an altogether different scene than those who are physically present at Nicofarre. Bands will play virtual instruments, J-pop idols will perform with anime characters - they'll even be able to see hearts or lightning-bolts fly out of a soloist's guitar similar to scenes from the film "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World."

    What makes this venue special however, is the level of interaction between those at the club and the online viewers. Those watching online can type in comments that are then scrolled in real time on the wall-screens of the main hall, which creates an uncanny sense of connection between the two audiences. The fact that comments are displayed live adds a daring element of freedom, as there is no way to control what is written and therefore put up for all to read.

    Although the venue's concept has virtually unlimited potential, what could hold Nicofarre back is the video quality. Being a large-scale setup, the spaces between the individual bulbs make the images indiscernible when standing too close. And judging from opening-night headliners, K-pop boy band Tohoshinki and local J-pop phenomenon AKB48, it looks like the club is not courting the usual live-house or clubbing crowd. Musical tastes aside though, the venue is undoubtedly at the cutting edge of "live" entertainment in Japan, and is well worth checking out.
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