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Another virtual pet game utilized a fingerprint scanner built into a handset to interact with a pet.
Another mobile game that year was an educational game that utilized a mobile's microphone to help children with their pronunciation skills.
It was published by Namco, one of the most successful mobile game publishers at the time.
That same year, Namco also released a fighting game that uses camera phone technology to create a player character based on the player's profile, and interprets the image to determine the character's speed and power; the character can then be sent to a friend's mobile to battle.
Namco began making attempts to introduce mobile gaming culture to Europe in 2003.
The wide variety of features, many original to or limited to Japan, lead to the term "Galápagos syndrome", as these resulting phones were dominant in the island nation of Japan, but unsuccessful abroad. There is some overlap of market segments between low-end smart phones and high-end feature phones, and many shared features.
As of May 2008, 31.3% of elementary school students, and 57.6% of middle school students own a cell phone, with many of them accessing the Internet through them. The first camera phone J-Phone (Stylized as 写メール, which stands for Photo-Mail) started marketing during November 2000, and not only included a camera but also the function to send photo via messaging or E-mail, which made the phone extremely popular at the time.
Technologies like 3G Mobile Broadband are also marketed in Japan before any other country.
For example, lt wouldn't correspond to the Latin characters 'L' and 't' but instead it would correspond to the hiragana, け ('ke'). Many hiragana, katakana and kanji are taken apart and reassembled using different characters including alphabet characters. It is also possibly due to different character limits when different languages are used, e.g. In the early 2000s, mobile games had gained mainstream popularity in Japan, years before the United States and Europe.
By 2003, a wide variety of mobile games were available on Japanese phones, ranging from puzzle games and virtual pet titles that utilize camera phone technology to 3D games with Play Station-quality graphics.
Older arcade-style games became particularly popular on mobile phones, which were an ideal platform for arcade-style games designed for shorter play sessions.