After the first two successful workshops in June 2017 at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan (see our report) and in November 2017 at Leipzig University (see our report), the 3rd International Workshop “Japanese Videogames Between the Local and the Global”, part of the PaJaKo project, has taken place on April 17th, 2018 at Leipzig University. The event was moderated by Prof. Hiroshi Yoshida from Ritsumeikan University. Organized by Dr. Martin Picard from Leipzig University, in collaboration with Jun.-Prof. Martin Roth from Leipzig University and Prof. Yoshida, the event was sponsored by Erasmus+, DAAD, and JSPS.

The workshop consisted in presentations from six PhD students from Ritsumeikan University and Leipzig University to introduce their PhD research topics. The third of its kind, it strengthened the bonds between all those involved.

For the program, please see: https://home.uni-leipzig.de/jgames/en/blog/3rd-international-workshop-japanese-videogames-between-the-local-and-the-global/

Abstracts of the individual paper contributions

Konstantin Freybe, Leipzig University

“Gaming News, Reviews, Discussions” – Gaming Culture and Media Professionalization

The overarching theme of my Ph.D. research is comprised of digitization, social & cultural change and cultural adaptivity. The “Metal Gear” (MG) resp. “Metal Gear Solid” (MGS) series, released and developed by Konami since 1987, as a topical frame because of the series’ longivity, its relatively high number of released games, the stardom of its “creator” Hideo Kojima stand out and his relation to fan communities. Aside from that I chose the MG series because I played through most of the canonical entries which enables me to access the field more easily. At my current stage of research, I am focussing a specific type of recipients resp. users: Those MG fans who make a living from their knowledge about gaming culture. Youtuber “YongYea” will serve as a case study from which I have developed prototypical research approaches in collaboration with DIGGR. The discussion will hopefully touch several topics such as shifts in the concept (& practice) of labor, cultural differences, methodological tensions regarding the research of social interactions on YouTube, and how and by whom Hideo Kojima’s role as games author or auteur is socially constructed.

Yasuo Kawasaki, Ritsumeikan University

Analysis of History and Culture of Game Center(Game Arcade) –focusing Forms of Operation of
Arcade-

Game Arcade(Game Center) is amusement facilities that managed coin-operated devices. Japanese game arcade have important features that it have Forms of operation as various game corner. Form of operation of arcade managed coin-operated devices on facilities of different types of business. But previous research ignored various Forms of operation, and advanced only research of Independent Stores as game arcade facilities. For the reason, the
purpose of my doctoral study is that clarify social fixing process of game arcade on Japan that included various Forms of operation. I investigate and analyzed by the document records of game arcade history and field survey in various Forms of operation. This presentation explain my peer review paper as research progress. And I explain future research plan, and research project on Germany.

Cäcilia Sauer, Leipzig University

Audio Games: Playing by ear

My future PhD project focuses on a (seemingly) niche in digital game industry: Audio Games. Using sound as the main output rather than graphics often stay rather unnoticed by mainstream developers and players, beeing classified as “games for blind people” – although studies showed, that sighted and and visually impaired players are able to conceptualize a physical game space in the absence of visual. In my PhD I want take a deeper look at the aesthetics of audio games – how they work, what makes them different from “normal” video games, what makes them even special; using different theories ranging from classic video game theories, to game music theories or analysis of radio plays. As visually impaired players are the main audience for audio-based gaming, I surely will take a deeper look at the accessibilty of video games (including their social aspects)  – yet I do not want to focus only on this aspect. Maybe doing some studies with both sighted and partially sighted players.

Kyohei Ito, Ritsumeikan University

Visage Rumblers: Pain Killer, Transformer, and Mind Thief

More than half-century has passed from the birth of prototype HeadMounted Display(HMD)Virtulal Reality(VR) became close to our everyday life in recent yearsVR definitely owns socio-cultural meaning, and it has altered our cognition. As discussed in the field of post-human studies, change or extension of human ability is worth researching. The aim of this study is presenting a philosophical viewpoint to what VR brings, morphs, and deadens.This study will lead to indicate several cognitive tendencies of human being. Consequently it is expected that this study provides an opportunity of considering post-human issues, which are related to VR.

Luca Bruno, Leipzig University

Nexus of Re-Mediation – Data-based character identity and narrative in visual novel games

This presentation seeks to examine data-based characters within Japanese visual novel games, with a particular approach that sees visual novel games as the nexus for the re-mediation of the totality of otaku culture; this allows the re-production, iteration and consolidation in time (cf. Suan 2017) of database elements coming from printed matter, animation, other video games, novels, action figures etc.
In this aspect, data-based characters and their identities, as arranged sequences of database elements, are the nexus of re-mediation and iteration of database elements, allowing the database element to be consolidated in time, while also providing the bedrock for articulation beyond the bounds of subculture, allowing subcultural production to extend beyond its own domain and into other segments of culture.

Goki Atoyama, Ritsumeikan University

Tamil Hara with a memory of the A-bombing on Hiroshima

This presentation aimed to clarify the recent problems on memory studies of the A-Bombing on Hiroshima and to propose the possibility of reconsidering the novels of Tamiki Hara to escape the problems.