World Craft, Business and Culture of Gaming in East Asia

thumbnailThis conference will examine how video games and video gaming, online and offline, are reconfiguring media landscapes and transforming social space throughout East Asia. Each panel will bring together developers and scholars working in multiple disciplines to address East Asia’s role in the global division of labor of the gaming world. How can we account for the phenomenon and negative perceptions of “Chinese gold-farming” in the MMORPG community, or the distinctive place of Korea in the economy of game production? What of distinctively East Asian cultures of gaming, from proprietary game consoles, to the prevalence of the internet café and other mediated urban spaces, as well as the trans-regional circulation of the otaku / zhainan figure in popular culture? What are the politics of gaming in East Asia, and how might they differ from other locations?

By the same token, how might culture, race, and geography be seen as a component of game design and game play, both within and outside of East Asia? How do globally popular games such as the Civilization series or Ages of Empire place Asia in the world? How are East Asian cultures evoked by way of spatial renderings, movement, music and sound, or narrative and discursive elements drawn from other, sometimes older, media, such as landscape painting, martial arts cinema, Manga, and Chinese opera? How do players negotiate these spaces, and what possibilities exist for the crafting of alternative worlds?

Timed to coincide with the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, this much more intimately scaled meeting will not only showcase the vital significance of Asian markets and modalities, but also provide a space in which gaming theory can grapple with the complexities of East Asian game worlds.

Speakers/Performers: Graham Candy, University of Toronto; Jenova Chen, Thatgamecompany; Michael Craig, UC Berkeley; Mia Consalvo, Ohio University; Charles Huang, Guitar Hero Corp.; Rachel Hutchinson, University of Delaware; Holin Lin, National Taiwan University; Petrus Liu, Cornell University; Yongjae Min, Nexon; Bonnie Nardi, UC Irvine; Lisa Nakamura, University of Illinois; Haruki Satomi, SEGA; Teri Silvio, Academia Sinica; Constance Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Xiao Qiang, UC Berkeley

Sponsors: Chinese Studies, Center for (CCS), Japanese Studies, Center for (CJS), Korean Studies, Center for (CKS), Institute of East Asian Studies, Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM)