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Über dieses Buch

This book examines the historical background of game development, offline and online gamer interactions, and presents a method to study the health impacts of digital games in East Asia. Focusing on examinations of how video games shape external interactions with the world as well as internal spaces, Lee and Pulos' volume brings together a range of approaches and regions to understand the impact of video games in East Asia and beyond. Contributions range from assessments of Nintendo's lasting technological impact in Japan and globally to analyses of mobile social gaming among teenage girls in Korea, with qualitative and quantitative methodologies set in contact with one another to offer a full spectrum of perspectives on video gaming and its profound cultural impact.



Chapter 1. Introduction: Histories and Industries of Gameplay

From the production of arcade video games in the 1970s to the development of E-sports in the early 2000s, East Asia has been a driving force in the global video game industry. In 2016, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have collectively generated more than 40% of the global games market revenues.1 As of 2016, the global video game industry is a $101.6 billion industry,2 while current global box office film sales are a $38.3 billion industry,3 making video games one of the most profitable entertainment industries of the twenty-first century. While these numbers highlight the influence of the region on game sales, they do not cover the complexity of the video game industry. Current video game platforms offer more styles of games, game-playing demographics are more varied and wider than ever, “and games are now large, small, polished, experimental, two-dimensional, three-dimensional, text-based, gestural, genre-specific, or mashed up” (Consalvo 2016, 2). There is therefore no single context, industry, or community of games but a diverse multitude of game structures that have shaped the cultural milieu of video games in the region. Due to the intra-regional and transnational flow of content, East Asia is not only recognized as a historic global gaming center but is “marked by diverse consumption and production patterns of gaming, mobile and broadband technologies, subject to local cultural socio-economic nuances” (Hjorth and Chan 2009, 3). Moreover, in the historical and contemporary contexts of East Asia, video games have given rise to new forms of identity formation, social interaction, and virtual colonization that blur national boundaries and create transnational practices of interaction. From this multifaceted context and cultural flow of information across historical and regional boarders, East Asia is an automatic “must” when studying the global contexts of the video game industry.
S. Austin Lee, Alexis Pulos



Chapter 2. Japanese Video Game Industry: History of Its Growth and Current State

Koizumi uses valuable data to analyze the Japanese video game industry as it led the global market from 1983, when Famicon was released, to 2014. Focusing on the home video game market in the context of the different business models of the two big console enterprises, Nintendo and Sony, Koizumi considers: supporting software development companies, industrial structure, market scale and comparisons against the global market. She describes the Internet-influenced online game and social game market beginning in or around 2000. Specifically, Koizumi looks at business models, leading companies, platforms, charging methods and market scales, all quite different from those of the home video game market. Also explored are general video game business features including hardware-software mutual complementarity and the uniqueness of Japanese video game industry.
Mariko Koizumi

Chapter 3. It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this (New Technology): Nintendo’s Impact on the Technological Landscape of the Video Gaming Industry

Goldberg provides a communication perspective on Nintendo’s 100-year history of innovation. Relying on tried-and-true, iconic intellectual properties, including “Super Mario Brothers,” “The Legend of Zelda” and “Pokémon,” Nintendo focuses on delivering a memorable gaming experience via unique hardware and innovative interfaces. From plastic playing cards to the upcoming NX, Nintendo forces its competitors to keep up beyond sales numbers and graphics capabilities. Goldberg explores the impact of Nintendo’s innovative offerings on the technological landscape of video games, and gaming culture, in their popularization of portability, immersion and expansion of the game-world beyond the console. The chapter ends with a discussion of what comes next for Nintendo, including the foray into mobile game development and augmented reality games such as “Pokémon GO.”
Arielle Goldberg, S. Austin Lee, Alexis Pulos

Mobile Social Games


Chapter 4. In-Game Purchases and Event Features of Mobile Social Games in Japan

The mobile social game market is expanding rapidly, and this study analyzed in-game purchases and limited-time event features of 31 popular mobile social games selected by young people (N = 2660) in Japan during November 2013. The results showed that in-game purchases were provided in 97% (30 games) of 31 games, and at least one of event features was found in 90% (28 games) of the games. Among the in-game purchases, gacha, roulette or lottery was one of the most frequent categories, and the payments for restoring stamina or health or for proceeding with the story was the other most frequent category. Both categories were found in 87% (27 games) of the games. Among the limited-time only event features, the limited-time only gacha was the most common and found in 84% (26 games), and the most expensive limited-time only gacha was more likely to be more expensive than the most expensive normal gacha.
Akiko Shibuya, Mizuha Teramoto, Akiyo Shoun

Chapter 5. Bowling Online: Mobile Social Games for Korean Teen Girls

Due to their arduous schedules, South Korean high school girls are gradually socializing in online environments such as mobile games. This study explores how Korean high school girls’ mobile social gaming is related to their social networks and social capital. The findings from focus group interviews with 23 high school girls indicate that playing mobile social games helps the interviewees develop their strong-tie relations rather than weak ties. A couple of social functions such as ‘presenting’ or ‘boasting’ induce the interviewees to cooperate or compete with their strong ties constantly, which results in an increase in bonding social capital. Other social functions such as ‘invitation’ entice the interviewees into interacting with their weak ties. However, they interact with their weak ties not for socializing but for earning rewards provided in proportion to the number of interactions. Thus, those behaviors rarely increased their bridging social capital.
Hogeun Seo, Claire Shinhea Lee

Chapter 6. Database Production: Planners and Players in a Japanese Mobile Game Studio

This chapter will look at collaborative global/local production among mobile game creators in Japan, primarily through examining the international culture of production in a single video game studio, by employing a critical lens and methodology from the field of “production studies,” a subset of critical media industry studies that emphasizes the labor of “below-the-line” workers in the process of media creation. Based on fieldwork in a Japanese mobile game company conducted over a 6-month period from 2012 to 2013, this chapter maps the construction and operations of a single Japanese multiplayer, free-to-play (F2P) card-battle game through the critically unexamined role of the planner, detailing how they construct game worlds and how players react to the design choices that they implement.
Bryan Hikari Hartzheim

Social Impacts


Chapter 7. Hong Kong Net-Bar Youth Gaming: A Labeling Perspective

This chapter investigates Hong Kong youth’s perceptions of their gaming experience in net-bars and their negotiation of their identities as well as images. Net-bar as a term in Chinese context connotes, on one hand, undesirability of a place. On the other hand, it resonates with the booming game culture across East Asian countries. These two conflicting socio-cultural meanings created the public perceptions of net-bars. Through focus group interviews, this study reveals that Hong Kong net-bar youth are concerned with the labeles attached to them. They actively distance themselves from and resist such designations through identity negotiation strategies such as avoiding, normalizing, neutralizing, professionalizing, and quitting. Through the youth’s interpretations and negotiation with the labels, the collective experience of net-bar gaming is articulated.
Sara Liao

Chapter 8. Development of an Internet Gaming Addiction Scale Based on the DSM-5’s Nine Diagnostic Criteria with South Korean Gamer Samples

This chapter provides an overview of Internet gaming culture and regulations of South Korea and a measurement scale for Internet gaming disorder. The primary concern of the chapter is how to diagnose Internet gaming disorder with what kinds of criteria. Three surveys are conducted among South Korean middle- and high-school students and young adults. A 27-item scale and a shortened 9-item version are developed with the nine criteria for Internet gaming disorder in DSM-5. Both versions are reliable across the samples. Internet gaming addiction shows significant moderate correlations with time spent on games and physical aggression. Furthermore, 3.2% of South Korean game players in the samples are classified as students and young adults with Internet gaming addiction. Finally, drawing from the findings of the study in this chapter, additional attention on mobile games and social network games is suggested.
Hongsik Yu


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