Master of Philosophy
School of the Arts, English and Media
This thesis investigates the emergence of China’s bourgeoning cultural sectors and some of the key processes by which audio-visual content is transformed through contributions from a range of national and transnational actors. Specifically, it explores how digital game ‘localisers’ are intersecting economic and cultural fields in unprecedented ways, mediating between well-established cultural policy demands and a bevy of new commercial industry opportunities and networks of stakeholders. Through the lens of Bourdieusian field theory, particularly from Distinction (1984) – which remains highly relevant today, this research analyses how such ‘cultural intermediaries’ are contributing to the transformation of economic capital and evolving consumer tastes and needs. At once, the expertise of these localisers lies outside of the skillset and capabilities of the local Australian digital game labour market, while also providing knowledge in the field of cultural production, circulation, and consumption of Australian games for the lucrative Chinese market.
Utilising field observations and secondary data analysis, this thesis analyses the range of localisation practices and network relationships sought by Australian gaming developers to penetrate China’s gaming market and to navigate the State’s censorship procedures. Gaining new understandings of these professionals and their practices will provide original insights into both the field of cultural production and how Australian content is adapted and geared for both Chinese and transnational audiences. Not only will this assist to elucidate the relevant power institutions at play and how they are transforming, but it will also reveal the dynamic relationships involving a network of actors that are facilitating transnational media and cultural flows.
Keogh, James, BUYING SKINS: Cultural intermediaries, value, and the localisation of Australian digital games in China, Master of Philosophy thesis, School of the Arts, English and Media, University of Wollongong, 2020. https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses1/1001
Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.