Author ORCID Identifier

Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


East Asian Studies

Committee Member(s)

Emer Sinéad O'Dwyer, Chair
Sheila Miyoshi Jager
Hsui-Chuang Deppman
Andrew Macomber


Video games, Japan, Localization, Pop culture, Anime, Manga, Gamers


This honors thesis studies trends in the localization of “Japaneseness” -- aspects of Japanese culture -- in Japanese videos published in the West over the 40-year history of Japanese home console video games. Through case study analysis and comparisons of Japanese versions of video games with their Western counterparts that span from the mid-1980s to the present day, this thesis examines how Japanese video game companies choose to either remove or keep aspects of Japanese culture in the West, and how Western players respond to Japaneseness in their video games. This thesis argues that over the 40 year history of Japanese home video games in the West, there has been a shift in the tendency for Japanese video game companies from removing Japanese cultural markers and publishing Westernized versions in the West to keeping reference to Japanese culture and striving to publish Western versions that are authentic to their Japanese source. This thesis also argues that Western video game players since the mid-2010s have shown an increasing desire in playing games heavy in Japaneseness that parallels the boom in popularity of other Japanese media in the West, notably anime and manga.