MCS Elements released! Fearsomely illuminating data at your fingertips…

September 27, 2010

The shadow of a new post enshrouds the blog in darkness…

Loyal readers may have been speculating over what mischief we’ve been up to in Zeppie land since my last post. Did dark forces liberate the MM9 monsters from their shackles in fiction, unleashing them to devour the Ubiquitous Entertainment staff? Did a space-time distortion from our efforts to integrate wormhole technology into ZeptoPad (oops…proprietary information slip) adhere our brains together in a sickeningly literal interpretation of the term “mind map?” Did we all mutate into fish under duress from typhoons, thereby solving the national tuna shortage?

No, dear readers…the truth is far more sinister. We’ve been busy slicing and dicing away on new goodies to make you giggle in delight, and scratch your chinny-chin in fascination. Our latest iPad app, MCS Elements, should do both in spades.

The app displays and analyzes data collected in the ASCII Media Works study MCS 2010, the first large-scale investigation of internet and contents consumption in Japan. Simply put, it shows what Japanese people are watching, reading, and playing. For instance:

On the main menu above, punch the little green fellow three rows down from the top, second from the right. He’s labelled “Otaku,” an alternately humorous and embarrassing term usually translated as “nerd.” Here it receives an official definition worthy of Brittanica: “a person with obsessive interests, who participates in subcultural events, and is often characterized as a ‘nerd.'” Sounds fair. Selecting this long-haired, green-sweatered lad reveals the following:

Or, if you’re in horizontal mode:

Either way, within seconds an “ah-ha”-provoking assortment of data will be at your fingertips. Our green-clad hero is 39.3% likely to buy more than one comic a month, and those comics are 21.3% likely to be Fullmetal Alchemist and 18.4% likely to be One Piece. If he’s watching a film, it’s 14.3% likely to be Evangelion: 2.o You Can (Not) Advance and 11.7% likely to be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Tap on any of these categories to dig in deeper, with longer lists and more figures.

Hmm. So just who is this mysterious green-clad genre fan? Tap your finger on the wheel in the top right, and the following unspools before you:

We now discover that our hero is only 34.1% likely to actually be a “hero”…33.6% says that “he” might actually be a “she.” Oops…sorry, ladies. Either way, odds are that he or she is childless, unmarried, and doesn’t date. That’s what those fat blue and pink slices of the pie above reflect.

And that’s just scratching the shiny, touch-screen surface of the goodies you can dig up in this app. You can investigate the habits of everyone from students to baby boomers, software developers to housewives…a total of 26,296 graphs are possible. Needless to say, it’s a lovely little tool for marketing, statistical analysis, or just good old-fashioned giggles. The ¥10,000 ($84.99) price tag at the iTunes store should be but a small price to pay for all the fun.

The app unfortunately comes only in Japanese, and the data set is limited to Japan. But hey…why not afford a little special treatment for the world’s third (sigh) largest economy? For more information, and a demonstrative video, check out the official site!

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