SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Japanese Culture Through Videogames: Games as Texts and Discursive Practice

Rachael Hutchinson
Rachael Hutchinson (University of Delaware)

Date: 2 December 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 2 December 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

Abstract

In her newest book, Japanese Culture Through Videogames, Rachael Hutchinson explores videogames as a window into the Japanese worldview. This talk will focus on the cultural content of globally popular games such as SoulCalibur, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid. Delving into character design, background setting and environment, aesthetic style, thematic content, and games dynamics and goals, Hutchinson points to ways in which Japanese role-playing games serve as popular entertainment narratives that tackle big issues like social anxiety, absentee parents, nuclear power, and war memory. Video games are not only texts with aesthetic value, but may also be read as part of contemporary discourse, while gameplay itself can be understood as discursive practice.

Speaker Biography

Rachael Hutchinson received her D.Phil from the University of Oxford in 2000, and now teaches Japanese language, literature and culture at the University of Delaware, USA. She has published widely on representation and identity in Japanese narrative texts, from the novels of Nagai Kafu to the manga of Tezuka Osamu, the films of Kurosawa Akira to the videogames of Kojima Hideo. Her latest book, Japanese Culture through Videogames (Routledge 2019) was recently featured on the podcasts ‘Meiji at 150’ and ‘Japan Station.’

Registration

If you would like to attend the event please register. The link to the webinar will be emailed to the registered attendee closer to the event date. Online registration

Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk