Atari to Zelda: Japan’s Videogames in Global Contexts. Cambridge, ma: The mit Press (2016). 272pp. 34 b&w illus. isbn: 978-0-2620-3439-5. Price: $32.00.Since the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, Japanese video games have been part of the global gaming cultural landscape; their characters, game design principles, and the genres that they comprise command the fascination of a large translational gamer audience that is more familiar with Mario than it is Disney’s Mickey Mouse.But beneath this layer of familiarity lies an aura of exoticism and mystery surrounding these games. Often seen as more original or simply weirder products due to their dissonance with other productions from North American or Europe, their global circulation has helped establish a more or less permanent ludic ‘other’, a gamic entity originating from a distant culture whose transformations, brought forth by the many circulation processes that enable their consumption in foreign markets, remain largely invisible. Overseas, away from the cultural and media environment from which they emerge, Japanese games have acquired a new identity over the years and prompted gamers to devise new ways to enjoy them, in addition to profoundly impacting their perception of Japan itself. In her new book From Atari
Asiascape: Digital Asia – Brill
Published: Feb 23, 2017
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