Ryū Ga Gotoku's Japaneseness in Local and Global Contexts:

Challenges of Cultural Translation

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BA Games Design (Hons) Thesis || 2019 || 8.8k Words

  For my 3rd year thesis I decided to explore video games in the context of culture, and to analyse how cultural specificities affect games locally and globally. I specifically focused on manifestations of Japaneseness in Ryū Ga Gotoku (Yakuza), using the franchise to ground and illustrate my analysis.

  In parallel to writing this thesis I also kept a research diary, available here.

Thesis contents include...


Chapter I - Making Games in Japan

I-1. A Historical Overview

I-2. Emergence of Japanese Game Design

Chapter II - Japaneseness in Ryu Ga Gotoku

II-1. Introducing RyūGa Gotoku

II-2. Kamurocho’s Sekaikan

II-3. Shōand Ten: The Importance of Side Content

II.4. The Japanese Humour of RyūGa Gotoku

Chapter III - Towards a Global RyūGa Gotoku

III-1. Changing Perceptions on Japanese Games

III-2. From Ryu Ga Gotoku To Yakuza

III.3. Lessons from Localising RyūGa Gotoku

III.4. Relaunching Yakuza in the West