How is the Gacha System Reported on in Japan?

Fujihara Masahito Shibuya Akiko
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This study explains how the gacha, a random-type item provider system in mobile online games or game apps, is reported on in Japan by analyzing 233 newspaper articles. Results revealed that business frames were the most frequently used. After gacha became controversial in 2012, its problematic social nature was reported. After the controversy, news stories shifted focus more to the inaccuracy of probability rates of special items. The Japanese newspapers reported the innovative but controversial nature of gacha by balancing complaints from consumers, concerns and criticism from governmental organizations, and the profits and social responsibility of the game industry.


Male and Female Game Players’ Preferences for Game Characters and Real-world Personalities in Japan

Shibuya Akiko Okura Hibiki Shoun Akiyo Asou Naoko
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Game characters are important for game players. Based on in-depth interviews with 20 young game players in Japan, this study explores why male and female players prefer some game characters. This study revealed that some male and female players love to find hidden the aspects of characters, called gap-moe in Japan. Both male and female players find both stereotypical and non-stereotypical aspects of game characters of the opposite sexes, but male players focus on masculine aspects of male game characters. Some players recognized the influences of game character preferences on their attitudes toward persons in the real world, others denied such influence.


Understanding Japanese Games Education

Zagal José P.
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

Although videogame education research is a growing area of interest, most work has examined practices in the US and Europe. In this article I describe the results of a study that explored how game design and development is taught in Japan and the challenges students face as they learn. For this study I interviewed ten people who teach game design and development courses in Japan. These interviews were conducted in person, recorded, and transcribed. The transcripts were analyzed using an iterative coding process to identify emergent themes. This study’s results support earlier findings regarding common challenges students face. For example, students often have difficulties generating creative game ideas and concepts, preferring to “mimic” games they are familiar with. Some findings also provide insights into issues that may be culturally specific. For instance, games education isn’t an area of explosive interest from the part of students as is currently the case in the US and Europe. Overall, games education in Japan does not seem to be that different from what is done in other places around the world. This is encouraging, since it suggests that solutions to pedagogical problems identified could be applied and shared more broadly.


Kingdom Hearts, Territoriality and Flow

Huber William Mandiberg Stephen
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper explores the relationship between companies Square-Enix and Disney as played out within the games of the Kingdom Hearts (キングダムハーツ) franchise. We contrast the relationship between these two transnational companies within the franchise's aesthetics and theoretical logics over the course of the various games. We are particularly interested in the games' own thematization and problematization of concepts of globalization, transnationalism and cultural flow. The games narratively and interactively foreground the collapse of membranes that separate worlds, producing legitimate and illegitimate modes of territoriality and intermixture.


Digital Art in the Age of Social Media: A Case Study of the politics of personalization via cute culture.

Hjorth Larissa
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Undoubtedly, as social media ubiquity spreads, the attendant forms of emerging creativity, collaboration and community further appropriate and adapt Digital Art current trends. As Jean Burgess observes in her studies on YouTube, one of the key attributes of this personalization phenomenon is what she calls “vernacular creativity” [9]. Here Burgess spearheads the amateur / professional nexus that has been transformed through networked social media. In these transformations, the role Digital Art vernaculars play in the divergent world of the global games industry in an age of social, networked media has been given little focus. One such vernacular can be seen in cute culture. As a highly emotional and affective vernacular with its roots in Japanese personalization culture, cute culture has straddled various Digital Art terrains such as gaming and new media. I argue that through charting the cartographies of personalization through cute character culture we can gain insight into Digital Art vernaculars both inside and outside Game Studies. By honing in upon one of the most pervasive modes of Digital Art—cute character culture—this paper provides new ways to conceptualize Digital Art. To focus upon cute culture is to explore an aesthetic that has its genealogy in Japanese technocultures — a realm that has, until recently, been left under-researched in the Englishspeaking world. In a period marked by the increasingly proclivity towards “personalized technologies” it is cute culture, with its history in the rise of Japanese personal technologies from the 1970s, that can lend much insight into the politics and practices of contemporary Digital Art. In this paper I uncover some of the meanings that have caused cute culture to become a lynchpin between so much media converging Digital Art with games in an age in which the personal—epitomized by personal technologies—has a deeply political edge.


Fictive affinities in Final Fantasy XI: complicit and critical play in fantastic nations

Huber William
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Like many massively-multiplayer role-playing games, Final Fantasy XI is a persistent world with a heroic fantasy setting. This paper discusses fictive player identities, and describes specific visual and ludological tropes of race and nationality, and the techniques by which the game engineers the complicity of the player in the problematics it represents. Some of these are coherent with themes and structures developed in earlier (single-player) iterations of the Final Fantasy franchise; others are original to the multiplayer title. This treatment of the game-as-text is offered as an exercise in critical close-play, and as an example of a necessarily hybrid approach to the study of game genres.


Visiting the Floating World: Tracing a Cultural History of Games Through Japan and America

Consalvo Mia
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

The goal of this paper is to establish a framework for better understanding the relationships between Japanese and American games in relation to that industry, visual styles, and cultural influence. To do that, this paper draws on a larger cultural history of Japan and America, and critiques and questions current and potential uses the concept of Orientalism in relation to digital games. In doing so, my hope is that we can arrive at a more sophisticated, nuanced understanding of that relationship, and use this framework for subsequent critical analysis.