Publication Details

Chan, D. 2006, 'Negotiating intra-Asian games networks: on cultural proximity, East Asian games design and Chinese farmers', Fibreculture Journal: internet theory criticism research, no. 8.


The East Asian online games boom started in South Korea in the late 1990s. Following unqualified domestic success, South Korean games were subsequently exported to other regional markets throughout East and South East Asia. During this time, game development companies specialising in online games for the Asian market also emerged in China and Japan. This essay proposes that one of the key features in this networked gaming context is the relationship between the adaptation of regional East Asian aesthetic and narrative forms in game content, and the parallel growth in more regionally-focused marketing and distribution initiatives. East Asian online games design and marketing play to notions of perceived cultural proximity within the region. By encompassing these considerations, this essay aims to offer a contextual analysis of intra-Asian games networks in terms of production processes and related emergent concerns. How have these online games networks evolved? What are the cultural politics inherent in present-day games networks within East Asia? How may ongoing developments in these games networks contribute to an understanding of contemporary transnational Asianness and its signification within regional cultural flows? To what extent are intra-Asian game networks reflective of imbalanced power relations within the region?

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Fibreculture Journal