Asian/American Gaming: Techno-Orientalism, Open World Empire, and The Race Card

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Since the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, Asia has remained the center of video game hardware manufacturing (China and Southeast Asia), the center of game innovation and the birthplace of most game genres (Japan), and the largest reliable resource of consumers (nearly half of game players reside in Asia). Game scholars Tara Fickle (University of Oregon) and Christopher B. Patterson (University of British Columbia) ask how video games, in being inextricably tethered to Asia, continue to produce new racializations of Asians around the globe, and the varied impacts that games have had on Asian diasporas in North America through forms of digitization, “gamic” worlds, and play itself. This talk — imagined partly as a dynamic conversation between Fickle, Patterson, Dean Betsy Huang (Clark University), and the audience — will explore a range of relevant contemporary topics in Asian/American gaming, such as esports, visual novels, racial representations, gender, labor, and industry culture. Audience members are encouraged to bring questions and gaming-related topics they are interested in discussing further. No prior knowledge or experience of video games is assumed.

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