Game Over? The End of Japanese Dominance in the American Console Gaming Market

by Lauren Klaasse

Almost every gamer who was around in the 1990’s and 2000’s nostalgically remembers their first time playing what is critically regarded as some of the greatest games of all time. Super Mario Brothers, Final Fantasy VII, Ocarina of Time, and Pok√©mon, among others, that went into forging these childhood memories all hail from the Land of the Rising Sun. For years the Japanese have dominated the gaming industry since it took off in the 1980’s cementing their creations in the childhood of so many Americans. Talk to American gamers now however and you hear talk of much different popular franchises (Halo, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto to name a few) originating from across the Pacific Ocean in none other than the west itself. [Read more…]

Lauren Klaasse

Lauren Klaasse Lauren is a Senior at the College of William and Mary, majoring in Government with a focus on East Asian affairs. Her interest in Japan unknowingly started with her introduction to Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and, later on like most every child of the 1990’s, Power Rangers. The corky Americanized Japanese export later influenced her to pursue achieving a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. In middle school, it had transformed to a love of dubbed anime series like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z along with their respective manga series. However, unlike many “otakus,” an interest in anime never really stuck and instead she took more of a liking to Japan’s video games exported to the states.

From a Government major standpoint, interest in Japan is nearly as political as it is cultural. With China becoming a dominate force in Asia, it is easy to ride off Japan as a “has been” power. Despite this, Japan remains a key ally to the United States and a cultural powerhouse that catches American interest on a daily basis; something China has yet to effectively achieve. She is fascinated as to how a nation that has seen better economic days can prove to be just as relevant today through soft power than it was in the 80’s.