The media mix and Japanese video games (WiSe 2015)

The media mix is an important economic and cultural strategy in the consumption of popular media in Japan. As video games play a significant role in these marketing practices, it is therefore quite relevant to ask what video games can bring to transmedia strategies and how analyzing video games from a media mix perspective (or conversely, analyzing the media mix through a game studies perspective) could bring something meaningful to the understanding of contemporary media in Japan ?

The goal of this seminar was to examine the place of Japanese video games in the larger marketing practice of the media mix. Besides, the importance of video games in Japanese popular culture was also outlined, by investigating the most common theoretical approaches regarding the study of Japanese video games.


CARLSON, Rebecca and Jonathan CORLISS (2011), “Imagined Commodities: Video Game Localization and Mythologies of Cultural Difference”, Games and Culture, January 2011, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 61-82.

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CONSALVO, Mia (2009), “Convergence and Globalization in the Japanese Videogame Industry”, Cinema Journal, Vol. 48, No. 3, Spring, p. 135-141.

KLINE, Stephen, DYER-WITHEFORD, Nick, and DE PEUTER, Greig, Digital Play: The Interactions of Technology, Culture and Marketing, McGill-Queen’s University Press. Ch. 2 (Media Analysis in the High-Intensity Marketplace: The Three Circuits of Interactivity), p. 30-59; Ch. 5 (Electronic Frontiers: Branding the “Nintendo Generation”), p. 109-127.

MANDIBERG, Stephen (2015), “Playing (with) the Trace: Localized Culture in Phoenix Wright”, Kinephanos, Volume 5: Geemu and media mix: Theoretical approaches to Japanese video games, December, 112-141.

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ŌTSUKA Eiji (2014). “Kadokawa Tsuguhiko to mediamikkusu no jidai : Kigyō ni kanri sa reru kaitekina posuto modan no tame no essei” (The Era of Kadokawa Tsuguhiko and the media mix), sai zen sen, 05.17.

PICARD, Martin (2013), “The Foudation of Geemu: A Brief History of Japanese Video Games”, Game Studies, December.

SCHULES, Douglas (2015) “Kawaii Japan:  Defining JRPGs through the Cultural Media Mix”, Kinephanos, Volume 5: Geemu and media mix: Theoretical approaches to Japanese video games, December, p. 53-76.

STEINBERG, Marc (2015) “8-Bit Manga: Kadokawa’s Madara, or, The Gameic Media Mix”, Kinephanos,  Volume 5: Geemu and media mix: Theoretical approaches to Japanese video games, December, p. 40-52.

STEINBERG, Marc (2012) Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan, University of Minnesota Press. “Introduction: Rethinking Convergence in Japan”, p. vii-xvii; Chapter 5: “Character, World, Consumption”, p. 171-203.

TOBIN, Joseph (2002) “Pikachu’s Global Adventure”, in C. von Feilitzen an U. Carlsson (eds) Children, Young People and Media Globalisation, Goteborg, Sweden: UNESCO International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media, 53–67.

Lecturer : Martin Picard

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