Any room mirrors the resident's personality and individuality. This is what a 28-year-old Kyodo News journalist found when he visited the rooms of young people born during the Heisei era (1989-2019) to take a glimpse into their lives.
Twenty-two-year-old professional gamer Niko-chan devotes himself to playing a shooting game in a dimly lit room that serves both as his residence and workplace in Osaka on Feb. 3, 2019. The room is part of an apartment complex called Gaming House, a place for pro gamers like Niko-chan to live and work. Facing a computer monitor in the room, Niko-chan practices three to five hours a day while taking part in a team training session late at night. He receives a salary from the company with which he concluded a pro contract and also earns some extra money from video posts on the internet. He says of his decision to quit his factory job and turn pro that while video games started out as just a hobby, he wanted to see "how far I could go." In 2018, his pro esport team became the national champion. "When it's a hobby, we can start and stop whenever we like. But if a hobby turns into a career, there is no freedom to stop. It's not always fun," he says. "The world of games is tough." But he stressed the importance of continuing to fight against himself. "There is pressure but I enjoy my life." (photo by Shohei Miyano)