Are Video Games Getting Easier?

A while back, the Japan Times published an interesting which described the “new fatalism” among young people (teens and twenties) in Japan. Based on research from psychiatrist Toru Kumashiro, young Japanese believe that effort doesn’t reap rewards, so there’s no point in trying. While I may not disagree with this, Kumashiro then used video games as a determinant to support this new fatalism attitude, saying that 1980’s games required skills, while now, “the biggest hits require the least effort.” Could this be true? Do video games these days require far less skill and effort than those 8-bit games in the …

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Cultural Differences in Entertainment

Back home, it can be generally argued that North Americans aren’t a big fan of foreign music or films – and by foreign, I mean in a foreign language.  When I used to work in a video store, I remember when the Italian film Life is Beautiful was released.  We had six copies for rental, three that were in the original Italian with English subtitles, and three that were dubbed in English.  The subtitled copies were never rented.  Why?  Because reading subtitles “is a pain in the butt,” according to one customer.  And if you took a look at our …

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TGS 2014 To Be Biggest Ever!

The Tokyo Game Show 2014 is just a week away, and the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) promises this year to be the biggest one, yet. This year’s theme is “Changing Games: The Transformation of Fun.” So far, 224 companies and organizations have registered to be present at the TGS 2014, which is a 20% boost from last year’s 181 exhibitors. Also, a much larger precentage of these participants are from overseas, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, in addition to South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, France, Canada, and the United States. And the number of participating companies is still …

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Sushi: Japan and the Culture of Clean

Something that surprises many foreigners, myself included, when they first come to Japan is how clean it is.  At any given moment you could walk down almost any street in Yokohama, or even the mecca of Tokyo, and find probably nothing more than a cigarette butt.  No papers strewn about.  No cans or candy wrappers flung carelessly aside.  That isn’t to say you won’t find any garbage but in comparison to major cities in the US it is a drastic difference. How do Japanese cities find themselves so fresh and so clean clean?  The culture of clean starts in school.  At all …

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The Evolution Of Translating Games

As we’re currently shifting from the seventh generation of consoles to eighth, games are getting more complex, requiring more money, time, and effort to develop.  The 8-bit consoles, such as the Nintendo and Sega systems, has the first games to feature “credits” at the end.  Try beating Contra or Rampage, and you’ll see a list of about 20 or 30 names scroll up the screen, from Lead Designer to QA Team.  Now, after clearing seventh generation titles like Uncharted or Gears of War, sit back and wait 5 to 10 minutes as the credits scroll, equivalent to having finished a movie. But graphics and …

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