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International Conference on Japan Game Studies 2013 Recap

May 24th~26th, 2013

This was a joint conference between Ritsumeikan University RCGS and University of Alberta, Edmonton, and a wonderful, insightful experience as a whole.

1) During the lunch break, we went to check out the "Super Mario Experiment" which was a room filled with a bunch of old consoles from the 80s and 90s. This seems to be a common activity that has been present at every conference I have attended so far. In this photo, Shuo Xiong, my fellow game researcher from JAIST is conquering the original Super Mario Bros. he attracted a crowd, but then died unexpectedly. As predicted, everyone in the room moaned in unison in communal empathetic disappointment. After about 30 mins, the staff came in and told us to stop playing games because the next session would be starting soon. Basically Dad telling everyone to go study.


2) Day 2 of the International Conference on Japan Game Studies 2013 has come to an end, and damn, what a great day. Every presentation was thought-provoking, the community is great, and it is phenomenal to hang out after the conference and talk with fellow games researchers about all kinds of games from all kinds of critical perspectives. Granted, many of the discussions involved a hearty portion of jokes and laughter about games, but I have a good feeling that even the jokes will eventually lead to some greater insights about this dynamic medium. Made some new and superb friends at this conference. I talk about it like it's over, but we still have tomorrow! Quite looking forward to the remaining sessions, but sad that it will be over soon. I wish all conferences were this awesome.

3) (My musings upon returning to my own grad school) It is easy to live in the land of the dead when one forgets what the living look like. After being reminded of the traits of the living this weekend, I am reluctant to return to the land of the dead. Having cited as much, I surmise that my future role could potentially be something akin to that of Charon, traversing the river (or gulf) that divides the realm of Humanities from which I have been severed, and the realm of the Sciences which is a place that I often feel I am simply allowed to persist in, despite my ineptness at all things numerical. And so, welcome back Monday. I place two coins on the eyes for the Boatman, and I board the vessel back to the land of the dead.

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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