Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future - Two Forthcoming Lecture Events at the Japan Foundation on February 21st/22nd‏

Feb 7th 2012

Event 1 - The Past: Game Over?

How to preserve Video Game Culture and why it is important to do so

Date: 21st February 2012

Event 2 - The Present and Future: Progress to Next Level?

Where is the Japanese Video Game Industry heading?

Date: 22nd February 2012

Time for both events: From 6:30pm

Venue for both events: The Japan Foundation, London

The Past: Game Over?

How to preserve Video Game Culture and why it is important do so

Japan is known as a leading country in the culture of Video Games, but it was only in May 2010 that the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan started making preparations for a Video Game archive, in association with the National Diet Library. These developments raise some important questions - given that there has been much criticism of Video Games as potentially harmful things, some people would wish to ask 'Why we should archive them?'. Have Video Games in fact taken root in Japanese and other societies to such an extent that they need to be recognised as a form of culture that is something approaching equivalent to Cinema or Literature? More practically, how can an archive of Video Game culture be made and what should be archived? Consoles? Softwares? Game Magazines? Finally, how should the Video Games industry, government and academia work together within this archiving project?

The Japan Foundation have invited Prof Akira Baba from the University of Tokyo - the chairperson of the committee on Video Games within the Media art archiving project of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs - to take part in a lecture event alongside Prof James Newman from Bath Spa University, who is leading a similar initiative here in the UK. They will examine the current situation and issues that are arising from these efforts to create Video Game Archives in Japan and in the UK.

The Present and Future: Progress to Next Level?

Where is the Japanese Video Game Industry heading?

In 2008, the market for the consumption of video games in the UK became the second largest in the world, and it is still expanding. Within this situation, it is common knowledge that a great number of the games people in the UK play every day are made in Japan. However, the Japanese game industry, which has held an advantage for a long time, is now facing a series of challenges as new centres of video game production appear in developing countries. How can Japanese companies strengthen their position in markets around the world, taking into account the emergence of social gaming? Is the solution to prioritise the development of their human resources and rationalise the process of making games?

Prof Akira Baba, University of Tokyo, will make a presentation on the current situation and problems of the Japanese Game Industries and Takuma Endo, president of ACQUIRE and Development Director of Tenchu, a game which has sold 1.5million copies, will talk about where Japanese game makers are going. Steve Boxer, freelance journalist and member of the award-winning Video Games coverage team at The Guardian will respond to their presentations as a discussant.

There will be a prize-draw during both events to win tickets to attend the Hyper Japan event, which takes place from 24th-26th February.

These events are supported by ANA and Hyper Japan.

This event is free but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please contact [email protected] with your name, details and those of any guests.

The Japan Foundation, Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square


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