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Gpara Investigates Majicon Use

How many bootleggers ride one of Tokyo's busiest train lines?

 
One example of a Majicon device.

Majicon carts are supposedly banned for sale in Japan. But is all the legal fuss doing anything to stop people from actually using the copying device? Spurred on by recent DQIX copy reports, Gpara.com sent out the Majicon Investigation Battalion (that's what they call it!) to find out!

The site's staff conducted two days worth of investigations by walking through the cars of JR's Yamanote train line. This is the well-known line that does a loop around Tokyo, stopping at all major stations like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Akihabara. It's as packed as they get as far as trains go.

Each day consisted of a total of eight hours of investigations in two sessions, from 11:00 to 14:00, then from 15:00 to 20:00. During the sessions, the staff continually walked from one end of the train to the other and went in for a closer look if they observed someone playing a DS. They only counted a Majicon user as such if they could clearly see the cartridge.

The charts provided at the site have data for (from left to right) person count, using or not using Majicon, playing or not playing Dragon Quest IX, gender, general age (20s, 30s, etc), presumed profession, version of DS, and approximate time.

Over the course of the first day, the site observed a total of 106 DS players, of which only five used Magicon. Only one person had the magic combination of DQIX and Magicon. Thankfully, the one foreign DS player they found was playing a legit game (and thank you, Gpara, for providing the completely irrelevant extra information about the user's ethnicity).

On the second day, Majicon usage shot up to 15 people out of 109 DS players. Once again, only one person was playing a bootleg copy of DQIX.

The second day had a particularly unfortunate piece of data: two teenage kids, one girl and one boy, were playing via Majicon. All other Majicon users were in their 20s or 30s.

So the result of Gpara's two days of work was a Magicon usage rate of 20 out of 215, or roughly 10%. If that were to be true of the whole DS population, you'd have a whole lot of bootleggers!

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