The Japanese are very clearly self-aware of their insane work culture.
Hearthstone launched in Japan earlier in the year, with a strong focus on the smartphone aspect of the game (in Japan, smartphone gaming is increasingly replacing traditional console/handheld gaming). It’s enjoyed a good deal of success… thanks in no small part to this amazing commercial that’s been doing the rounds recently. Check it out above.
Even with the language barrier, what’s going on should be pretty obvious. The Big Boss of a company is arriving at work, and all of his loyal minions are bowing and giving him the obligatory “Otsukaresamadesu” (“Thank you for your hard work”) salute. He comes across an unassuming young lass who refuses to bow, and as a look of horror crosses his face, he shocks the entire company by bowing to her.
It’s later revealed that she handed his ass to him in a game of Hearthstone (albeit with some bullshit Flamestrike play).
Anyone who has ever worked in Japan will tell you that this is a pretty spot-on parody of the country’s insane work culture, in which employees can be reprimanded and even fired for failing to properly salute their superiors.