“Universal” Video Games? Reintroduction and Influence of Cultural and Social Identities in the Virtual World

Abstract

As of today, The Video Game Industry has become one of the most profitable and influential leisure businesses in the world. Alongside this trend, Video Games have become one the most important elements that contribute to the integration of online media and connectedness, mainly because of the offers of interaction and entertainment that provides to online users all around the world. Because of this, as long as the medium continues to increase, the way it affects on social processes and consumption habits will only be more prevalent. People from all over the world find themselves in virtual spaces, programmed and codified to resemble all kind of scenarios, to communicate and compete, as well as to find new areas to develop new personas and try to constitute new forms of identity, regardless of their cultural contexts. However, while this process is still forming itself, there's been a new trait that may change the way people approach to online gaming. The establishment of localized, regional virtual spaces, are starting to differentiate players and, at the same time, nurturing some discourses of individual and even national identity that may change the way people understand games, and how they relate to their own physical spaces. Throughout this presentation, I will examine the recent rise of new games that have been specially localized and directed specifically to certain audiences that can only be found in certain markets and regions, and how that may change the way developers, consumers and people envision these virtual spaces.



Author Information
Tomás Grau de Pablos, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2013
Stream: Media Studies

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