Keynote Speakers

The Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies is pleased to announce that Mr. Hironobu Sakaguchi and Mr. Hirokazu Hamamura will be keynote speakers at the Replaying Japan international conference to be held in Kyoto, which will be examining questions related to the development of the Famicon overseas.

The Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies and the University of Alberta will hold the 3rd edition of the International Conference on Japanese Video Games (Replaying Japan) from May 21st to May 23rd 2015 on the Kinugasa campus of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.

As 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Nintendo’s release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Western market version of the Famicon, it was decided that the conference will revolve around the theme of “The Globalization of Japanese Pop Culture and its Origins - Examining the Role of the Nintendo Entertainment System”.

On this occasion, we announce that Mr. Hironobu Sakaguchi, known as the father of the Final Fantasy series and currently the CEO of the buzzing game studio Mistwalker Corporation behind the game Terra Battle, as well as KADOKAWA DWANGO CORPORATION director Mr. Hirokazu Hamamura will make a stage appearance as keynote speakers at this event.

The theme of their address will be “From the Famicon to the World: The Lineage of JRPGs’ Globalization from the Perspective of the Genesis of Final Fantasy”.

The International Japan Game Studies Conference is in its third iteration this year; it is an event that seeks to strengthen collaboration between industry and academia. This year, the conference will take place in Japan and be managed by the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies led by Center Director Professor Masayuki Uemura, former developer of the Family Computer and the Super Family Computer, now teaching at Ritsumeikan University. Previous editions of the conference featured Mr. Masayuki Uemura, Mr. Endo Masanobu and Mr. Tomohiro Nishikado as keynote speakers.

In the keynote of this coming conference, Mr. Sakaguchi will talk about the process whereby Final Fantasy, a game triggered by the Family Computer, flourished to become a world-leading role playing game, and how such a process allowed him to present his own creative expression and stories to the world. This keynote will be presented as a dialogue between Mr. Sakaguchi and Mr. Hirokazu Hamamura, who acted as a frontline journalist since the time around the release of the Family Computer. The keynote will be open to the public. The date of the address as well as the registration details will be provided on the official website of the conference at a later date.

Furthermore, the main conference is accepting presentation proposals. Do not hesitate to submit your abstracts before the deadline of February 20, 2015.

Conference Outline

Title: The 3rd International Japan Game Studies Conference 2015 (Replaying Japan 2015)

Conference

Dates

Thursday May 21, 2015 to Saturday May 23, 2015

Site

Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto

Theme

“The Globalization of Japanese Pop Culture and its Origins - Examining the Role of the Nintendo Entertainment System”

Host

Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies

Co-organizers

Prince Takamado Japan Centre, University of Alberta, Canadian Institute for Research Computing in the Arts, University of Alberta, GRAND Network of Centres of Excellence, Japanese Digital Game Association (DiGRA JAPAN)

 

The Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies holds gatherings for international research exchange on the topics of Japanese Game Studies, game culture, the use of games in educational context as well as on the game industry.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in the United States of America and acknowledge the console’s importance for video game culture, the conference will be themed around this specific console, its games and the culture they gave rise to. A variety of posters/demonstrations and papers dealing with game culture, education and games and the Japanese game industry from the perspectives of humanities, social sciences, business and education will be presented.

The following topics will be featured:

  • The Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Cross cultural study of games and toys
  • East Asian Game Culture and Market (especially China)
  • Localization of games
  • Assessment of educational aspects of games
  • Preservation of games and game culture
  • Understanding player culture
  • Close readings of specific games
  • Comparative study of specific titles
  • Game theory
  • Game design
  • Game industry (in Japan and transnationally)
  • Marketing and financing the games industry
  • Games and transmedia phenomena
  • Games of chance

 

Outline of the Keynote Speech: The 3rd International Japan Game Studies Conference 2015 (Replaying Japan 2015)

 

Featured Speakers

Hironobu Sakaguchi, Mistwalker Corporation, CEO

Hirokazu Hamamura, KADOKAWA DWANGO CORPORATION, Director

Site

Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto

Theme

“From the Famicon to the World: The Lineage of JRPGs’ Globalization from the Perspective of the Genesis of Final Fantasy

Notes

Please refer to the RCGS official website for the dates of the keynote speech as well as for the registration procedures.

Official Webpage

http://www.rcgs.jp/

 

Keynote Speakers Profiles:

Hironobu Sakaguchi
Father of the hugely popular RPG series Final Fantasy, a milestone franchise which sold over 100 million copies worldwide, Mr. Sakaguchi established the game design studio Mistwalker Corporation in 2004 and releasing such much-talked-about titles as Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, The Last Story and Terra Battle. Nicknamed “Beard” (hige), he is highly popular amongst video game fans and he is always craving new projects.
Mr. Sakaguchi is also highly praised outside Japan, his accomplishments were acknowledged in 2000 when he received the Hall of Fame Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.


Hirokazu Hamamura
KADOKAWA DWANGO CORPORATION, Director
Mr. Hamamura was involved in the launch of the inaugural issue of the video game magazine Weekly Famitsu (then called Famicon Tsûshin) in 1986. He was appointed the magazine’s editor-in-chief in 1992. He is now representing the Famitsu Group, analyzing developments in the game industry from a variety of angles and he also writes a column in Weekly Famitsu, amongst other things. He is the author of Just Play Games Please: The Games That Raised a 12 Year Old Boy (Gêmu bakkari shitenasai 12 sai no musuko wo sotatetekureta gêmutachi) and other works.
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