Japanese console games popularization in China: Governance, copycats, and gamers

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This article attempts to explore the popularization of Japanese console games in China in the past two decades, which reveals the tripartite relationship of the nation-state, transnational cultural power, and local agents.1 This study focuses on the formation and development of the console game industry in a non-Western context, where the society has undergone dramatic transformations and has been largely influenced by the globalization process. Encountering social anti-gaming discourse and cultural protectionism, the importation and distribution of Japanese console games did not get support from the state. However, it found its way to the audience and gained popularity through piracy, the black market, and the local agents' appropriation, becoming an integrated part of many Chinese early gamers' lives. This article draws upon the intersection of cultural globalization with game studies, calling for an investigation into the complexity of the game industry through its sociohistorical, political, and cultural environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-297
Number of pages23
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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