Replaying Japan 2017

Geoffrey Rockwell at Arcade Cabinet
Playing Missile Command at the Strong (Photo by Okabe)

Last week I was at the 5th International Conference on Japan Game Studies, Replaying Japan 2017. You can see my conference notes here. The conference was held in the Strong Museum of Play which has a terrific video game collection and exhibit. (I vote for holding all conferences in museums!)

Some of the highlights included:

  • A keynote by┬áTom Kalinske on how “The Experts are Always Wrong.” Kalinske was brand manager for Barbie in the early days and headed up SEGA America when it went up against Nintendo.
  • A keynote by Rachael Hutchinson on “Refracted Visions: Transmedia Storytelling in Japanese Games.” Hutchinson did a great job at discussing all the different forms of “trans”-media in Japanese game culture.
  • A tour of the Strong archives which contain everything from Ralph H. Baer‘s papers to a large number of working arcade game cabinets. (See my Flickr album on the Strong.)

Keiji Amano gave a paper I co-authored at the conference “On the Infrastructure of Gaming: The Case of Pachinko” in which we dealt with infrastructure like the ball feeding machines, “Hall Computers” that managed the machines, and content.

I also spoke about digital archiving at the University of Alberta and the infrastructure needed.