Come on downnnn!… An introduction to Japanese game shows

Good evening and welcome to the second instalment of blogposts for the Digc330 digital Asia subject. This portion of my blogging will be concentrating on my research for my individual research project, in which I have chosen to focus on the interesting cultural phenomenon which is Jaoanese games shows.

We have all word of them, most of us have seen at least clips of them on the Internet, but how many of you truly understand the inner working of a Japanese game show? Culturally speaking western game shows are a test of knowledge, skill, and ability and often reward achievements in these areas with prizes of currency and various objects. Whilst the same is true for that of Japanese game shows, we often see a certain comedic element to the shows themselves. And whilst they still focus on the ability of contestants in various tasks, these tasks are often painful, or painfully funny for the audience to watch. I am reminded of perhaps the first time I encountered the idea of a Japanese game show in my child hood, as many of you out there may have also experienced it on the Simpsons. In an episode entitled “30 seconds over Tokyo” the Simpson family are forced to enter a Japanese game show to win tickets back to America. Perhaps the greatest quote of this episode which sums up Japanese game shows is when the host tells them that Japanese game shows are different to the ones they are used to “… In America you reward correct answers, here we punish incorrect ones” (fun fact: this was the episode with mr sparkle in it).

It is my hope, that the final product of my research on this topic will be to recreate a Japanese style game show and film it for the final product of my individual research project. Of course I will have to omit some potentially terrifying scenes that could befall my competitors unlike the originals. So please feel free to continue reading the blog for weekly updates on my research and how the project is going.

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