Why, it’s the brain of course.

What is the peripheral of JRPGs? Why it’s me, it’s you, it’s the player. We are the responses and the medium is our own brains.


Seriously think about it, everything we are doing here is about looking at our own experiences with Asian media. We have processors in our heads and they are sorting through it all for us. That is what tells us the art style is ‘Japanese’ and that the intro song of Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk 2 is J-pop. Why, because my brain tells me it is.

Ignore what might be wrong about my thinking, the fact remains that this is all happening in my head. I might be aware that I have the stereotypes and preconceptions, however that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. I am self-aware and that is the core of what I’m studying. I’ll be starting my interviewing for my digital artifact next week. It’s this process that I want to draw out. What is Japanese about a JRPG. Is it the art style? I can show you Western games with the same style. Is it the music? J-pop is sampled elsewhere as well. Is it the themes? I don’t know, maybe.

Generally people are streaming their thoughts on forums, but I prefer the grapevine as a starting spot. Many of my friends have played JRPGs and the common opinion is that all of the above are valid assumptions about the JRPG subgenre.


Are we all correct though? Any blog post on here will say yes and no simultaneously. The facts however are a good place to start. Firstly, most JRPGs, (whatever your definition) sell much worse in the USA and Australia than in Japan. So there must be something more appealing for them, right? Well I can’t tell you accurately, but I will try over the future weeks. The bottom line is that I feel that I am aware that the J in JRPG is less about Japan and more about our perception of Japanese media. Can you tell the difference between the Japanese and Korean medias perfectly. What is something is a Korean RPG, it may be distinct to the trained eye, but would it in Australia? Have you ever heard of a KRPG, because I haven’t, however a quick google search found that there are RPGs made in Korea that would be labeled JRPGs.


The weird thing is, I don’t think it’s wrong to call it a JRPG anyway.


  1. I like that the main focus here is what is going on in someone’s brain when they respond to media. I’m thinking that the parts of the brain that are used for strategy and tactics could take over what could have been used to observe some cultural features of the game.
    My topic is focused on movies and I wonder if the level of cultural characteristics is impacted upon by which medium is used. Game characters can have long background stories like movie characters, however, I think game characters – because character’s development in center around the progression of strategies – allows their cultural influence to be less comparable to the cultural influences that we ourselves initiate, or perhaps there is no line and games are stooped in just as much reality as we allow movies to be, which is probably too much as it is so why not let all the imaginary qualities in games and movies run our lives… hah no, no I don’t think that really, I know it’s important to draw the line, however, it is a major issue that that line is always changing, I’m still not sure if I should be concerned.


  2. I’ve often wondered this myself. The only way I can interpret what makes a game a JRPG are styled on JRPG is my own experience. How I define it is a JRPG is a turn-based or similar to turn-based battle. They often involve controlling a party of characters that level up and have a degree of customization when it comes to skills and gear. I didn’t really know how to define a Western RPG but this list I found (http://www.unikgamer.com/tops/top-western-style-rpgs-39.html) contains their top 50 western RPGs. It seems that they take the broad sense of “role-playing”. Despite being action or shooters, all of these games are in either sci-fi or fantasy settings. This is only my opinion but from that I can classify RPGs as being turned based and Western RPGs to be role-playing games in the sense that you role play a fantasy character or universe.


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