The Internet Yami-Ichi (Internet Black Market) is a flea market which deals "Internet-ish" things, face-to-face, in actual space. Both flea markets and the Internet are fanatical and chaotic mixes of the amazing and useless. In the Internet Yami-Ichi both the wills and desires which brought us to create the Internet, and the wills and desires we picked up are salvaged to be shared in a social space.
"I've been asked to participate to Yami-Ichi in NY2, which is an internet black market, and I decided to sell VMUs contaning custom made graffiti for Jet Grind/Set Radio. While I bet that you're fully aware that you can make custom tag in JGR, you can technically only hold one per size, and while the editor is pretty sweet, it's a bit limiting.
I stumbled upon a old script made in 2001 that essentially converts a Jpeg image the same way you could do with the in-game browser, tweaked it a bit to make it compile on a current linux distro, and invited a bunch of digital artists to create a series of 3 graffitis (1 per size) to be distributed and sold on the VMU.
To me, the project speaks on many different levels; what the hacking scene has made for the Dreamcast, how old games can be use as art platforms, how the graffiti artist community relates to the new media art world (cliques, showing off in physical and digital space, etc) and overall just shows the potential of our old beloved console."
"The event was very nice. There were over 120 venders at Yami-Ichi in NY2. A lot of people stopped by and played some Jet Set Radio, obviously a lot of people never heard of it before but were very interested and thought the graphics were really nice. I'd say about 15 people were really into it - about the project I mean, they understood the concept of putting new materiel in an old Dreamcast game using the VMU, and a lot of them were making references to more modern DLC. I had 7 VMUs with 3 unique artworks on each, and they all sold! I think about half of the buyers had Dreamcasts and were pumped to see it!
I also had a chance to have a very good talk with people and introduced them to the DreamPi project, and told them about upcoming games and what not. It's also important to note that most people there were not gamers per se, but more 'internet' folks. People that have art blogs, or straight up Tumblr folks. Some had more design-like projects, some art code projects, etc. Overall, it was a great success."
If you want to know even more about the concept behind the Yami-Ichi (I know I did when I first learned of its existence), feel free to watch the video below on the 'back streets of the internet':
An interesting footnote to this whole Jet Set/Jet Grind Radio thing is that apparently the name change came about because of a Canadian rock band called Jet Set Satellite, and Sega didn't want the game to be confused with the band. I only bring this up because people are always asking why the name is different in certain territories...and now you know (probably). Also, if you want more Jet Set/Grind Radio nonsense, be sure to check out our article Jet Grind Radio Vs The City of Milwaukee, which tells the tale of a city council trying to get the game banned for glorifying graffiti...which is kind of ironic considering the whole point of this post.