Keynotes 2020

Hirokazu Hamamura (浜村 弘一)

Hirokazu Hamamura (浜村 弘一) is a Senior Advisor at Kadokawa Digital Entertainment and Vice President of the Japan E-Sports Union. He was born in Osaka in 1961 and Graduated at the Wasada University. He has been involved in the “Famitsu Weekly” game magazine since the first issue, in 1986 (at that time, “Famicom Tsūshin”). He was the editor-in-chief   of “Famitsu Weekly” editor-in-chief and  then President and CEO of Enterbrain Inc. After having served as a director of KADOKAWA, he is currently a senior advisor in charge of digital entertainment for the company. In addition, as a representative of the Famitsu Group, he analyzes trends in the game industry from various angles and writes columns. As a Vice President of the Japan E-Sports Union (JeSU), since January 2018, he is actively working to promote the esports industry in Japan and further grow and develop it. He also wrote the book Play games only – Games to play when raising a 12-year-old boy (『ゲームばっかりしてなさい。-12歳の息子を育ててくれたゲームたち-』) among others.

Susana Tosca

Susana Tosca is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Humanities at Roskilde University, Denmark. For the last 20 years, she has researched and published widely on the areas of digital culture, storytelling, computer games and transmediality. She is a co-founder of the journal Gamestudies and author of the books Literatura Digital (UNEX, 2003), Transmedial Worlds in Everyday Life (Routledge, 2019) and Understanding Videogames (Routledge 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2019), just released in its 4th edition.

Mediating the Promised Gameland

This lecture will take you on a trip to Japan as the promised gameland, a place of pilgrimage for gamers from all around the world, as seen through the lens of travel videoguides made by amateur commentators. The guides are paratexts that mediate game culture and breed spectacular expectations, promising to transform their audience from outsiders into insiders and assist them in their travels, be their real or imaginary. The lecture will be articulated around Tosca´s theoretical framework of transmedial experience and desire, to map how the immaterial pleasures of gaming get materialized into places, objects, bodies and events to be experienced and consumed. Besides building upon previous work in the field of game studies and Japanese popular culture, Tosca will draw on literature from audience and tourism studies, with concepts such as spectacle, ritual, or pilgrimage. Her methods include the analysis of a YouTube video corpus in English, Spanish, French and Danish and its commentary, autoethnographic material from her own fieldwork in Japan, as well as a series of short interviews with non-Japanese game visitors and would-be visitors.

Florent Gorges

Florent Gorges is the President of Omake Books Editions (France) and the co-founder of Pix’n Love Editions; he is a specialist in the history of Nintendo as well as a TV presenter, a translator and interpreter, a biographer of game developers and an author of documentaries about Japanese games

The first steps of Japanese esport

Competition has always been at the heart of gameplay in most video games. It is therefore hardly surprising that the first players sought to foster competition by organizing tournaments, meetings, and initiatives that today are considered as “first steps” in the history of esport. This paper will focus on these first attempts at “contests” and on the beginnings of esport in the early days of Japanese video games.