16 May 2023

In this video I take a brief look at how Koei Tecmo defines “Japanese-styled” in their horror game series Fatal Frame. This was inspired by a quote from the series producer who referred to the most recent release in the series, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, as, “This extremely Japanese-styled title” when the game was being marketed in 2022. I trace Koei Tecmo’s definition of Japanese-ness through an analysis of other yūrei media and the narrative structures of the series. This research is in its early stages but I argue that Koei Tecmo connects to both historical and contemporary yūrei media in the Fatal Frame series and pose some questions about the significance of how Koei Tecmo defines Japanese-ness through Fatal Frame.

I decided to do something a little different for the International Conference on Games and Narrative 2023. While I did give a virtual talk at the conference, I also made a shorter video version of my presentation for my YouTube channel. Ideally, I would like to continue to do this for conference talks that I give that are either in-person or given “live” in a virtual conference format. I will continue to share video versions of my presentations from conferences and public talks that require video versions as well.

On the lighter side, I just wanted to note that I have really been enjoying the Fatal Frame games lately and I was very happy to get the chance to write about them for the first time. I am still mulling how exactly I want to approach my next large project, but I hope that I get to include some more analysis of the Fatal Frame games.

25 August 2022

I have been very excited to start a new, large-scale research project after completing my PhD and Post Doctoral Fellowship. While I am not at the point where I want to reveal the full scale of my research plan, I can say that I plan for it to include both traditional research and a new game project. As a first component of my project I have been engaging in research about Japanese Yōkai. I was excited to present the earliest parts of this research at the Replaying Japan 2022 conference (which used a hybrid model and was hosted by Ritsumeikan University).

This video examines Nioh 2 and its value as a cross-cultural learning tool. The video was inspired by my own experiences playing Nioh 2 before engaging in more formal Yōkai research afterwards. I found that many of the depictions of Yōkai were based upon traditional sources in both physical appearance and, in many regards, to how the player interacted with enemies during gameplay. This led me to think more deeply about the game as a cross-cultural teaching tool and, eventually, resulted in this video.

This was my most elaborate video project yet and took the most time to put together. This was mainly caused by my decision to synchronize the gameplay footage with the audio recording. I think that it makes for a better video but I may not have the luxury of editing a video like this again. Quite simply, it took a lot of time to capture the video, create transitions, take still photos of the art discussed, record the audio, and edit everything together. That said, I’m proud of how it turned out!