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S&C Seminar Gaming Culture in Japan (FAT-module course, twice a week in block 3 only)


Admission requirements


Japan is one of the driving forces in local and global videogame culture. Be it through well-known characters like Mario, Zelda, or Pikachu, games like Street Fighter or Resident Evil, or with consoles like the Playstation or the Nintendo Wii, a variety of well known formats, technologies and innovations emerge from the Japanese gaming culture and its industry. In this course, we will explore that culture and its position in Japanese society beyond well known global brands and franchises, by looking at its roots, its market, its sub-culture, its creative industry and trends, as well as the legal and ethical issues involved on the one hand, and by analyzing the actual contents of Japanese games on the other. We will do so with the help of selected readings and in practical sessions in which the participants present their analysis of a Japanese game to the class. Combining these two perspectives, this course introduces you to a crucial area of Japanese and global popular culture and, through that lense, offers a better understanding of its flourishing creative industries and cultures in general.

Course objectives

  1. To develop an understanding of the Japanese gaming culture in the context of the creative industries in Japan and in a global context.
    1. To learn to critically analyze videogames.
    2. To expand skills in the areas of academic reading, media-enhanced oral presentation, conducting independent research and academic writing.


Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • 5 ects=140 hours – contact hours; 2 hours per week=14 weeks = 28 hours – Reading: approx. 40 pages per week + assignments = 5 hours x 12 weeks= 60 hours – Presentation and analytical element = 22 – Paper writing = 30 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation element (attendance, participation, webpostings, and presentation): 40%

  • Analytical element (1,000 words): 20%

  • Research element (2,000-2,500 words): 40%


Blackboard will be utilized for all information (syllabus, requirements, etc.) and communication (assignments, announcements) about the course. Access is crucial.

Reading list

Available by January 15 on Blackboard.


Through uSis