The Influence of Videogames on Global Cultures

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Introduction
Videogames are now the new entertainment for the modern generation. Videogames have become more technologically advanced and exciting since its humble beginnings from Pong, created in 1972 (McAllister 3). However, there are some people who do not appreciate the amazing technology and legacy of videogames today. Humans are dynamic creatures and different societies will view this technological innovation differently. Japan: Home of Videogames

Most videogames are programmed in Asia and about 70% of those released in America are designed in Japan. Also, 60% of the gamer market is dominated by the Japanese alone (Beck 154). Needless to say, videogames play a prominent role in Japanese culture. Japan is also the law of pop culture in Asia and what it deems modern or the latest trend is followed by Korea, China, and Taiwan. Therefore, the role and views of videogames in Japan are shared by the rest of Asia. Akihabara-Gamer’s Paradise

The gaming culture is so great in Japan that there is even an entire district of Tokyo dedicated to the videogame industry. Akihabara, Akiba for short, is home to stores and shops that sell nothing but electronics, software, manga (comics), anime (cartoons), and videogames. One can virtually find anything in Akiba from electronic junk to ancient mechanical parts to the latest technology (Machiyama 88). Electronic shops of every size can be found around Akihabara Station and down Chuo Dori (Chuo Avenue) (Machiyama 88). Gamers would find Chuo Dori and the Station important places as Japanese gamers are also electronics experts and revel being surrounded by the latest technology and boasting their skills with computers and anything else electrical. In Japan, the videogame is viewed both separately and collectively as an electronic or form of technology. Technology is a defining aspect of this society and held in high regard (Machiyama 90). One will notice that manga and anime are closely tied with videogames and gamers are almost always otaku (anime and manga fanatics) as well. Popular manga are converted into anime and videogames while videogames can inspire manga-ka (manga authors) to publish another manga (Machiyama 17). The pop culture of Japan literally revolves around the three categories manga, anime, and videogame. Electronic brands are worshiped like they are name-brand clothes. The latest gadgets are also the latest fashion and those who wish to impress must invest in the latest models of phones, mp3 players, and game consoles (Machiyama 80). Akihabara is truly the heaven of the young Japanese, providing them with the newest videogames and the best technology to play those games with. The Japanese Perspective

It is already known fact that videogames and game consoles are a third of the Japanese pop culture. This may baffle western cultures who have had more negative experiences with games in the last decade. The Japanese value and respect their games mostly for their technological achievement. They hold conventions such as the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) to display their latest models of various electronics and to air new games. The conventions allow people to test the equipment and games to rate them as well as to expose the latest on the market. These conventions are so popular they sell out of tickets and reservations need to be made at least three months in advance (Final Fantasy). The coming date of a convention sparks as much excitement, controversy, and speculation as Hollywood events. Currently, with the coming Tokyo Game Show 2007, gamers are already sleepless with anticipation and worrying if the new Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailers will be shown in an exclusive trailer or displayed in public (Final Fantasy).

Gaming magazines also reveal Japanese values in relation to videogames. Articles will critique games about slow performance, glitches, and character and plot development. They will also highlight the good...
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