Dr. Rachael Hutchinson gives Keynote address at Replaying Japan August 22, 2017
Dr. Rachael Hutchinson gave the Keynote address at Replaying Japan August 22, 2017 . The keynote was titled ‘Refracted Visions: Transmedia Storytelling in Japanese Games,’ rethinking how we use the term ‘transmedia’ and how it can possibly be applied to artistic and thematic readings of Japanese videogames. In her talk, Dr. Hutchinson examened several games and genres as artworks that pass through and across different mediums – of space, art, hardware and authorial roles – to tell their stories. Apart from the grand narrative arcs of the JRPG, she considered the shooter and fighting genre as well as action-adventure to show storytelling in different media forms, since story and characterization occur at different points of the gameplay process in different narrative modes.
Japanese games tell stories about universal human concerns, but also address anxieties situated in a particular time and space. Hutchinson examined Japanese anxieties over bioethics in the mid-1990s as a case study of transmedia storytelling in Japanese games – one vision refracted through many different artistic forms. She argued that the chaotic and disjointed nature of Japan’s historical consciousness in the twentieth century demands a refracted vision, which videogames are perhaps best suited to provide.
Dr. Hutchinson’s address will be published in the inaugural issue of the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies journal. The other keynote speaker at the conference was Tom Kalinske, CEO of Sega for many years at the height of the Sega-Nintendo console wars.
Replaying Japan is an International conference of game scholars who study and/or design Japanese videogames. This year there were over 100 attendees from more than 15 countries.