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Coding Culture: Japanese Video Games and Japan in Video Games
Thursday, 02 Dec 2021
3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Registration link:
Asian Studies Center
Event Details:

Virtual Speaker:  Colleen A. Laird (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of Japanese Cinema and Popular Culture at the University of British Columbia where she teaches  Japanese film, new media, and video games.

What does it mean when we identify a video game as a "Japanese video game?" Do we base this designation on where the game was made, produced, funded, or co-developed? Do we consider who made the game and how they identify? Are we perhaps more inclined to think of Japanese video games as titles that feature Japanese characters who speak Japanese? Are we swayed by the influence of vocal and physical actors? Is the setting or depiction of identifiable cultural and aesthetic tropes more important? Or is there something in the underlying ideological subtexts woven into narratives or integrated into gameplay that inform our impressions? In this presentation, Dr. Laird considers the role and representation of Japan in video games as transnational media, sometimes smooth and sometimes abrasive, to both embrace these questions and question our assumptions as we interact with seemingly fluid and accessible imaginations of place and peoples. This presentation invites attendees to both consider the examples offered and to draw on their own experiences with games to participate in a conversation about a dynamic and emerging field of critical inquiry.

This event is part of the MSU Asian Studies Center's Global Virtual Speaker Program with support funding from the Japan Council Endowment. The talk is organized by Dr. Ethan Segal from the History Department.