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Video Games: A Cultural History - #8 Corruption And Public Contrition In 'I'm Sorry'

by Tim Clare

On October 12th, 1983, around 170,000 demonstrators gathered at 300 rallies across Japan, calling for the resignation of Kakuei Tanaka from the National Diet (the Japanese parliament). Tanaka had served as Prime Minister from 1972 to 1974, his popular image uncomfortably shadowing Nixon’s until, after an investigation into his business dealings, he resigned rather than allow the treasurer of his controversial.. More

Video Games: A Cultural History - #7 Cultural Imports and Patriotism In 'Ninja Baseball Batman'

by Tim Clare

Let me make this clear straight off the bat - the Dark Knight does not appear in Ninja Baseball Batman. Not even fleetingly. At first, I thought I’d stumbled across some epic video game crossover Omega Point, but no - sadly I’d just parsed the title incorrectly. What we have here is a game starring a team of four baseball bat wielding ninjas, who are also men.This is the only disappointment in a game.. More

Video Games: A Cultural History - #6 The Spectre Of Socialism In Strider

by Tim Clare

The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 saw a shock defeat for the Russian Navy, and marked the first major victory of a modern Asian nation over a European one. The loss exacerbated Russian discontent with the Tsar, which would soon explode into the Bolshevik Revolution. It also greatly bolstered Japan’s status as an international military power. Despite the win, Japanese nationalists were dissatisfied.. More

Video Games: A Cultural History - #5 Fear Of The Other In 'Bad Dudes Vs Dragon Ninja'

by Tim Clare

In Bad Dudes Vs Dragon Ninja, a couple of strapping young Caucasian brawlers are called on to fight for justice and the American way when President Ronnie gets kidnapped by dastardly Japanese ninjas.During the post-war occupation, American culture flooded Japan, sparking huge demand for blue jeans, rock n’ roll, and chronic obesity. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the Japanese economy.. More

Video Games: A Cultural History - #4 Japan's Construction Boom In 'Hammerin' Harry'

by Tim Clare

In Hammerin’ Harry, you play Harry, a plucky Japanese Everyman who gets his modest pad destroyed by greedy corporate bully-boys, the Rusty Nail Construction Company.In this tricky era of economic downturn (my mate Paddy calls it ’the Pinch’) it’s worth remembering the equally devastating cost of national prosperity. The Japanese Post-War Economic Miracle was internationally lauded as a model example.. More