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Date and time of live events: 10-13 August, between 14:00 and 17:00 (Belgian time)

Replaying Japan is an international conference dedicated to the study of Japanese video games. For the first time this year, the conference is held online and will combine various types of research contents (videos, texts, livestreams).

This year’s conference theme will be “Ludolympics 2020”. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between games and sport in Japan, to the Japanese esport scene and its cultural specificities and to competitive video game practices, but also, more generally, to the notion of video game performance and to the mediatization or spectacularization of this performance (how are game performances commented, represented, transformed into spectacles?).

Through the prism of this theme, fundamental aspects of games and play will be questioned: the physicality of the playing practices, the place of competition in Japanese game culture, the role of rules and conventions in games and play, as well as the possibilities of bypassing these rules (through cheating, for instance) or the spaces of appropriation that they allow (visible in the amateur practices, fan creations or doujin circles, among others).

Furthermore, esport is a common and robust entry point into the study of Japanese video games, their surrounding industry, their history, structuring, cultural variants (through the multiplicity of competitive game scenes, for example), and their surrounding economy. In this summer online conference, participants from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds will present their research and collaborate to understand and shed light on Japanese video games.

The conference participants will present their research in various formats (videos, texts, commented PowerPoints...) and these will be made available to the registered persons on this platform from July 27th. All participants will be able to enter into discussion about the research presented on the forum spaces.

From 10 to 13 August, between 14:00 and 17:00 (Belgian time), live discussion sessions will be organized between the speakers via videoconference, on Discord. The keynote speakers’ presentations will be broadcast live, publicly, on the Twitch streaming platform. During these days, various online social activities will also be offered to the participants.

1. In order to access the presenters' papers: please register on this platform.

2. In order to attend live discussions and social events: please join us on Discord.

Twitter : @LiegeGameLab #Replayingjapan

Conférence Website




AUGUST 10, 2020


14:00-14:15 CET - Fanny Barnabé and Björn-Olav Dozo (Liège Game Lab)

Module 1: Keynote Speaker

14:15-15:00 CET - Panel chair: Boris Krywicki (Liège Game Lab)

Florent Gorges (President of Omake Books Editions) – The First Steps of Japanese Esport

Module 2: Birth and Development of Esport in Japan

15:10-15:40 CET - Panel chair: Geoffrey Rockwell (University of Alberta)

Hiroyasu Kato (Kanto Gakuin University) – Infancy of eSports events in Japan

Yuhsuke Koyama (Shibaura Institute of Technology) and Akira Igarashi (Foundation for Multimedia Communication) – Why Japan has slowed the development of esports?

Akinori Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University) – Comparative Studies on the development of Esports industry- Japan, China and the USA

Module 3: Playing Environments and Game Spectatorship

15:50-16:20 CET - Panel chair: Keiji Amano (Seijoh University)

Vincenzo Idone Cassone (University of Turin) – No One Parries Forever: a Retro-comparative Analysis of EVO moment #37

Julien Bouvard (University Jean Moulin-Lyon 3) – Playing in front of a giant screen: Tsukuba Expo 85 ’and video games, the source of Japanese esports?

Bertrand Grimonprez (Catholic University of Louvain) – Sensory dimensions of arcades in Tokyo

AUGUST 11, 2020

Module 4: Japanese Games, Society and Identities

14:00-14:40 CET - Panel chair: Rachael Hutchinson (University of Delaware)

Laurence Herfs (Leiden University) – Japanese nation branding in Atlus' Persona V

Mikhail Fiadotau (Tallinn University) – Isolated Connectedness: Applying the Concept of Transinsularity to Japan’s Game History

Sélim Krichane (EPFL/University of Lausanne) – Hideo Kojima as “Author” in the West: Towards a Historical and Discursive Analysis of Video Game Authorship

Nökkvi Jarl Bjarnason (University of Iceland) – Japan's Hard(ware) Power: Consoles, Culture, and the Mass Appeal of Japanese Role-Playing Games

Module 5: Data-driven Historical Perspectives and State of the Japanese Video Game Industry

14:55-15:35 CET - Panel chair: Koichi Hosoi (Ritsumeikan University)

Martin Picard (University of Leipzig) – How Numbers Can Tell The Story: A Data-Driven Analysis of the Development of the Video Game Industry in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s

Kazufumi Fukuda (Ritsumeikan University) – A Development of LOD Dataset for Description of Video Game Resources

Keiji Amano (SEIJOH University), Geoffrey Rockwell (University of Alberta) and Mimi Okabe (University of Alberta) – Ethics and Gaming: Through the content analysis of the annual reports of the Japanese Game Industry

Martin Roth (Ritsumeikan University) – FromSoftware games between local and global: A data-centered analysis of the historical change in videogame production and distribution

Module 6: Amateur Scenes in Japan


AUGUST 12, 2020

Module 7: Japanese Games and Affects

14:00-14:40 CET - Panel chair: Mimi Okabe

Hélène Sellier (University Paris Est Marne la Vallée) – Mobile otome games: desire and suspense as economic strategies

Luca Paolo Bruno (Leipzig University) – Intimate sporting: sports and sports-related themes within Japanese Character Intimacy Games

Joleen Blom (IT University of Copenhagen) – Your Fantasies are Quantified: Western Perspectives on Sex and Sexuality in Japanese Erotic Games

Leticia Andlauer (University of Lille) – When sport is a market targeted to female audiences: a study of gender representations in otome games and related productions

Module 8: Aesthetics, Contemplation and Narration in Japanese Games

14:55-15:35 CET - Panel chair: Hiroshi Yoshida (University of Tokyo)

Alexandre Paquet (University of Toronto) – Delivering Packages in Apocalyptic Times: Utopia and Collectives in Death Stranding

Paul-Antoine Colombani (University of Liège) – The poetic trial of Wander: case study of Wander and the Colossus

Gregory Blomquist (University of Alberta) and Braidon Schaufert (University of Alberta) – Playing Towards the Horizon: Spectacle and the Sublime in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Marcos Acevedo-Arús (Temple University) – What a Thrill: Opening Theme as Narrative in "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater"

Module 9: Meta Play and Competition

15:50-16:30 CET - Panel chair: Akinori Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University)

James Newman (Bath Spa University) – Running through code: Backwalking, Wrong Warping and the transformativity of The Ocarina of Time Any% speedrun

Alexandra Dumont (University of Quebec in Montreal) – “The Gacha Gods Were Good to Me Today!”: Game of Chance and the Desire to Perform in the Mobile Game GranBlue Fantasy

Shunsuke Mukae (Ritsukmeika University) – Dark Meta Play and Ethics of Interface

Kieran Nolan (Dundalk Institute of Technology) – DIY Micro Arcades: Game Center Dioramas and Coin-Op Miniatures

AUGUST 13, 2020

Module 10: Keynote Speaker

14:00-14:45 CET - Panel chair: Fanny Barnabé (Liège Game Lab)

Susana Tosca (Roskilde University) – Mediating the Promised Gameland

Module 11: Playing and Remixing Time and Culture

14:55-15:25 CET - Panel chair: Martin Roth (Ritsumeikan University)

Tianyu Li (University of British Columbia) – Looking Back through the Eyes of Others: How Azur Lane Evades Controversies through Reconstructing Fragmented Memories of War

Marek Mikeš (Masaryk University) – A Classical Work in a Modern Medium: The Tale of Genji Gamified

Lars de Wildt (KU Leuven) – Opening my Shinto Box: The Mixing of Religions, Traditions and Fictions in JRPG

Module 12: Sociability in and Around Japanese Games

15:35-15:55 CET - Panel chair: Damien Hansen (Liège Game Lab)

Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon, Alexandra Dumont, Antoine Jobin, Patrick Deslauriers and Maude Bonenfant (University of Quebec in Montreal) – “Finally! My first shiny!”: Social Media, Gameplay Mechanics and Production of the Self in #PokémonSwordShield on Twitter

Yuhei Ikeda, Toshiki Honda, Jiro Nishida, Kazuto Takahashi and Shinya Saito (Ritsumeikan University) – Development of Geographic Information SNS Game to Promote Sharing of Cultural Resources of University

Miguel Cesar (Colegio Madrid) – Being Social in a Time of Loneliness: Animal Crossing and Bonding in Contemporary Japan


16:05-16-20 CET - Pierre-Yves Houlmont and Bruno Dupont (Liège Game Lab)

Björn-Olav DOZO - University of Liège, Belgium Boris KRYWICKI - University of Liège / HEL, Belgium

Fanny BARNABÉ - University of Liège, Belgium Pierre-Yves HOULMONT - University of Liège, Belgium

Bruno DUPONT - University of Liège / HEL, Belgium Hamza BASHANDY - University of Liège, Belgium

Julie DELBOUILLE - University of Liège, Belgium Damien HANSEN - ULiège / Grenoble Alpes University

Pierre-Yves HUREL - University of Liège, Belgium

Keiji AMANO - Seijoh University Mimi OKABE - University of Alberta

Paul-Antoine COLOMBANI- University of Liège Jérémie PELLETIER-GAGNON - UQAM

Kazufumi FUKUDA - Ritsumeikan University Thibault PHILIPPETTE - Catholic University of Louvain

Rosane LEBRETON - University of Liège Martin PICARD - Leipzig University

Isabelle LEFEBVRE - University of Montreal Geoffrey ROCKWELL - University of Alberta

Koichi HOSOI - Ritsumeikan UniversityMartin ROTH - Ritsumeikan University

Rachael HUTCHINSON - University of Delaware Olivier SERVAIS - Catholic University of Louvain

Mitsuyuki INABA - Ritsumeikan University Muneyuki TAKAHASHI - Ritsumeikan University

Akito INOUE - Ritsumeikan University Shuji WATANABE - Ritsumeikan University

Akinori NAKAMURA - Ritsumeikan University Hiroshi YOSHIDA - University of Tokyo

James NEWMAN - Bath Spa University

Besombes N. (2016), Sport électronique, agressivité motrice et sociabilités, Doctoral thesis in Sports Sciences, Sorbonne Paris-Cité-University, France.

Gorges F. (2018) [2011], L'Histoire de Nintendo Vol.03 : 1983/2016 Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System, Châtillon, Omake books.

Hamari J. and Sjöblom M. (2017), “What is eSports and why do people watch it?”, Internet research, vol. 27, n° 2, pp. 211-232.

Harper T. (2014), The Culture of Digital Fighting Games: Performance and Practice, New York, Routledge.

Hutchinson R. (2019), Japanese Culture Through Videogames, New York, Routledge.

Taylor T.L. (2012), Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Tosca S. and Klastrup L. (2019), Transmedial Worlds in Everyday Life: Networked Reception, Social Media, and Fictional Worlds, New York, Routledge.

Witkowski E. (2012), “On the Digital Playing Field How We ‘Do Sport’ with Networked Computer Games”, Games and Culture, vol. 7, n° 5, pp. 349-374.

Other partner institutions : University of Alberta, University of Delaware, Bath Spa University, Seijoh University and DiGRA Japan

Visual credits: Laurent Constant ; video credits: Liège Game Lab ; web credits: Job@Skills and Liège Game Lab

Replaying Japan 2020

  • Course Number

  • Classes Start

  • Classes End

  • Enrollment is Closed