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#1 Posted by JasonR86 (9694 posts) -

Being exposed to North American and European gaming press and having heard how they interpret Japanese culture and Japanese gaming what is your impression of those interpretations? I guess what I'm referring to is the widespread generalization that Japan is crazy. Like the Bombcast episodes at TGS when the guys talked about the four story sex shop. Or the Mad World quick look. Just all of it. It's not just Giant Bomb either. Most gaming press talks about Japan as simply 'crazy' and leave it at that. Do these interpretations offend you? Do you get where they're coming from?

Personally, as a white dude from Washington state, it's always felt a bit weird hearing the Japasn is crazy generalizations even though, based off of the examples I've heard, I get where the generalization has come from. It's just that any generalization always gives me a bad feeling.

#2 Posted by psylah (2173 posts) -

I thought this thread was about WWII aircraft...

#3 Posted by believer258 (11891 posts) -

@psylah said:

I thought this thread was about WWII aircraft...

I did as well.

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#4 Posted by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

Yeah I was going to come in here with some smart-ass Pearl Harbor comment. Bummer. But seriously, look at the media that comes out of that country. LOOK AT IT!

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9694 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@psylah said:

I thought this thread was about WWII aircraft...

I did as well.

...maybe it was a poor thread title choice.

#6 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Yes, they're crazy but that's why we love them

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

Most gaming press talks about Japan as simply 'crazy' and leave it at that. Do these interpretations offend you? Do you get where they're coming from?

Hell yes, because they're fucking stupid. Japan's crazy because its perverts jerk off to cat ladies? COGENT ARGUMENT, YO.

#9 Posted by TruthTellah (8976 posts) -

Aw man, I was sure we were going to be talking about real Japanese Bombers, not Japanese duders. blegh.

I guess this will do. The real topic here is how different countries and cultures do tend to embrace exaggerated impressions of other countries and cultures. It is far from just being Japan getting known for and talked about just for the more extreme elements. The last time I mentioned to a European fellow that I'm from Texas, all I got was Yeehaws, questions about what kind of horse I ride, and George W. Bush. And last time I talked to some Chinese gamers and they found out I was American, they talked as though I was some African American thug with no brain. Heck, I've known Japanese women who only cared about the fact that I'm tall and Italian. People embrace these weird, exaggerated ways of seeing foreigners, and Japan certainly sees that, as well. At least their caricature is usually more laughable than simply insulting or overly negative. They get the image of being more like a crazy old uncle or a silly teen rather than someplace to receive hate.

#10 Posted by JasonR86 (9694 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@JasonR86 said:

Most gaming press talks about Japan as simply 'crazy' and leave it at that. Do these interpretations offend you? Do you get where they're coming from?

Hell yes, because they're fucking stupid. Japan's crazy because its perverts jerk off to cat ladies? COGENT ARGUMENT, YO.

...what?

#11 Posted by TooWalrus (13195 posts) -

So uh, the rest of the world thinks we're crazy. It's all about exposure, we get exposed to the 'crazy' stuff from Japan, the nonsensical j-pop, dirty panty vending machines, tentacle porn etc. Anyway, I was attending high school in New Zealand when this episode of trading spouses aired (and was heavily advertised). Basically, they watch American TV and assume most of the country is like the trash they see on Jerry Springer. 
 
  

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#12 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@JasonR86:

I'm saying that the arguments people use to call Japan weird fucking suck, and draw from a limited pool of people who were probably weird in the first place. If you're gonna call a country weird...first off, don't be racist about it. I know that sounds strange, but whenever somebody makes the claim that Japan is weird, there's usually some racist undertone to it, like "Japan's weird, and that makes them terrible". But back on topic: if you're gonna call Japan weird, your evidence better represent all of Japan, or at least most of it. Not just a small subset.

#13 Posted by JasonR86 (9694 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@JasonR86:

I'm saying that the arguments people use to call Japan weird fucking suck, and draw from a limited pool of people who were probably weird in the first place. If you're gonna call a country weird...first off, don't be racist about it. I know that sounds strange, but whenever somebody makes the claim that Japan is weird, there's usually some racist undertone to it, like "Japan's weird, and that makes them terrible". But back on topic: if you're gonna call Japan weird, your evidence better represent all of Japan, or at least most of it. Not just a small subset.

I agree.

#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@rebgav said:

DON'T MENTION THE WAR.

Which one aren't we mentioning?

#15 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Traditional Japanese culture is about as straight-laced and serious as you can get. I experience this because I practice a traditional Japanese martial art.

Aspects of Japanese pop culture are "crazy" and perhaps that is a response to the traditional culture.

#16 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4999 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I would follow you twice if I could.

#17 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3051 posts) -

Too soon.

#18 Posted by Veektarius (4812 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Japan is weird and racist.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

#20 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1638 posts) -

@psylah said:

I thought this thread was about WWII aircraft...

I had a feeling it was about giantbombers, but I was hopeful.

#21 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

Their statue of Asian Superiority.

Imagine a towering Klansman statue at Disneyland. Same concept.

#22 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

I like Japan a lot, but it is weird and racist, almost in the same way that Miami is weird and racist.

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#24 Edited by Veektarius (4812 posts) -
#25 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

What about the Japanese people's reaction to them? Are they "you go, Mayor of Tokyo", or do they go "just shut up, man; we have a city to run"? Because politicians say weird shit all the time. It's the reaction to that shit that's more indicative.

#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Veektarius:

I can't access that link. Some type of error's going on.

#27 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4999 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

I like Japan a lot, but it is weird and racist, almost in the same way that Miami is weird and racist.

So one guy says weird and racist stuff and that makes the whole nation weird and racist?

I don't get it...

#28 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: @Veektarius:

You guys are no fun. That's the Chinese knock-off gundam. Way to ruin my joke by not getting it :P

#29 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4999 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@Video_Game_King: @Veektarius:

You guys are no fun. That's the Chinese knock-off gundam. Way to ruin my joke by not getting it :P

The real one stands in front of the Sunrise Studio building.

#30 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

To be fair, I know next to nothing about Gundam, and the signs are too small for me to see if they're Chinese or Japanese or either at all.

#31 Posted by Hailinel (24671 posts) -
@AlexanderSheen

@Mesoian said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

I like Japan a lot, but it is weird and racist, almost in the same way that Miami is weird and racist.

So one guy says weird and racist stuff and that makes the whole nation weird and racist?

I don't get it...

It's easy to be reductive like that when it comes to political leaders. Just think of how Bush unfairly shaped the perception of Americans.

It's also a stupid way to think.
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#32 Posted by Turambar (6776 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

Their statue of Asian Superiority.

Imagine a towering Klansman statue at Disneyland. Same concept.

Do care to explain how that's a statue of Asian superiority, particularly when the most iconic of Gundam characters are distinctly white, not Japanese. Also, that's the Chinese statute, not the Japanese one.

#33 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

Your weakness is exposed, moon-man. Let the invasion begin!

#34 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

As someone who's in the habit of importing toys/collectibles from Japan, I can tell you that many of them have a very negative attitude towards westerners. In fact, the majority of them use Yahoo Auctions for selling their goods, rather than eBay, because it requires you to have a Japanese address. I usually use a middleman service to get around this, but there's even been occasions where the middleman mentioned to the seller that he was buying the stuff on behalf of someone in the UK and the seller flat out refused to do business with him from then on, despite the fact he'd already won the auction.

Of course, that's dealing with a pretty specific group of people and it's not how everyone in Japan acts. But it's a crazy place. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, much like everywhere else.

(I should also add though, that when I have dealt with Japanese sellers through eBay, they've been fantastic. Usually throwing in free stuff, like Japanese candy, which is amazing).

#35 Posted by Turambar (6776 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

I like Japan a lot, but it is weird and racist, almost in the same way that Miami is weird and racist.

Going by that logic, I never knew Rush Limbaugh represented the opinions of all Americans. It only takes one loudmouthed racist with a lot of attention to justify broad sweeping generalizations of an entire country, right?

#36 Posted by Turambar (6776 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

As someone who's in the habit of importing toys/collectibles from Japan, I can tell you that many of them have a very negative attitude towards westerners. In fact, the majority of them use Yahoo Auctions for selling their goods, rather than eBay, because it requires you to have a Japanese address. I usually use a middleman service to get around this, but there's even been occasions where the middleman mentioned to the seller that he was buying the stuff on behalf of someone in the UK and the seller flat out refused to do business with him from then on, despite the fact he'd already won the auction.

Of course, that's dealing with a pretty specific group of people and it's not how everyone in Japan acts. But it's a crazy place. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, much like everywhere else.

As you yourself already noted, the majority of a small subset of people is an even smaller subset. It's not evidence for much at all.

#37 Edited by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Mesoian said:

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

What about the Japanese people's reaction to them? Are they "you go, Mayor of Tokyo", or do they go "just shut up, man; we have a city to run"? Because politicians say weird shit all the time. It's the reaction to that shit that's more indicative.

They keep voting for him, so...::Shrugs::

It's amazing, blaming the tsunami on the Japanese people, saying that he's willing to sacrifice millions of lives over the islands that are in contention with China, saying the creation of Manga is waste of time and should be actively banned, saying they should close the boarders to all foreigners and end trade with the EU...it's nuts.

Plus walk down Shibuya streets at night while not being asian, the treatment you get is...cold at best. But it's no different from walking down the streets of Harlem at night while not being Black or Hispanic, or walking down the streets of Greenwich, Connecticut and not being white.

@Turambar said:

@Mesoian said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Veektarius:

And your evidence?

The almost every day statements coming from the Mayor of Tokyo.

I like Japan a lot, but it is weird and racist, almost in the same way that Miami is weird and racist.

Going by that logic, I never knew Rush Limbaugh represented the opinions of all Americans. It only takes one loudmouthed racist with a lot of attention to justify broad sweeping generalizations of an entire country, right?

Rush Limbaugh doesn't hold office.

Strom Thurman held office for nearly 80 years and was one of the most racist people in last 100 years of this country's history.

#38 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

They keep voting for him, so...::Shrugs::

Maybe the other guy was worse? Or he ran a worse campaign?

@Mesoian said:

It's amazing, blaming the tsunami on the Japanese people, saying that he's willing to sacrifice millions of lives over the islands that are in contention with China, saying the creation of Manga is waste of time and should be actively banned, saying they should close the boarders to all foreigners and end trade with the EU...it's nuts.

That doesn't mean Japan is crazy.

@Mesoian said:

Plus walk down Shibuya streets at night while not being asian, the treatment you get is...cold at best.

Really, now? Coulda fooled me.

#39 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Turambar:

@Ravenlight said:

@Video_Game_King: @Veektarius:

You guys are no fun. That's the Chinese knock-off gundam. Way to ruin my joke by not getting it :P

@WinterSnowblind:

I thought it was because Yahoo is generally more popular in Japan.

#40 Posted by Happenstance (462 posts) -

Does anyone have links to the Bombcasts from TGS, I think thats from before I started listening and I'd be interested to hear them.

#41 Posted by Bocam (3742 posts) -

As someone who actually lived (and still has a house) in Japan, I can say that while there are some very xenophobic Japanese. It's still a small minority. The one thing that every Japanese person does that pisses me off to no end, is how surprised they are when a foreigner knows Japanese.

#42 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Mesoian said:

They keep voting for him, so...::Shrugs::

Maybe the other guy was worse? Or he ran a worse campaign?

@Mesoian said:

It's amazing, blaming the tsunami on the Japanese people, saying that he's willing to sacrifice millions of lives over the islands that are in contention with China, saying the creation of Manga is waste of time and should be actively banned, saying they should close the boarders to all foreigners and end trade with the EU...it's nuts.

That doesn't mean Japan is crazy.

@Mesoian said:

Plus walk down Shibuya streets at night while not being asian, the treatment you get is...cold at best.

Really, now? Coulda fooled me.

It's more a Giuliani issue, where he's so ingrained in the National Diet and how things work that his tenure keeps him there forever, and the apathy of Tokyo-ites and the way their government runs keeps him solidifed in power. It's gross, but where have we seen that before? (Spoilers: Almost every major US city).

Japan is pretty crazy. They wallow in it though, make it part of the culture they created after the war. No one said that crazy was necessarily bad.

But it is hella racist. There are days when I liken, at the very least Tokyo because I haven't been everywhere in japan, but Tokyo to being like a REALLY progressive Arkansas. You won't be lynched or kicked out from anywhere, but you will not be treated as well as the natives.

I don't know what that last link is trying to show.

#43 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

I don't know what that last link is trying to show.

From what I could gather, it was saying that Japanese people are also pretty cool, at least some of the time. That returning lost items thing and such. I'm guessing I didn't do it well enough to make any damn sense?

@Mesoian said:

No one said that crazy was necessarily bad..

That's usually the underlying assumption, though. I mean, how often do you find people saying, "Japan's weird, and it's fucking awesome because of it"? Not as often as the inverse, I'd say.

#44 Posted by RenMcKormack (1074 posts) -

I wouldn't say that GB thinks Japanese games are CRAZY in a negative way. I think one of the sadder things has been the homogeniatzion of games in general. The way games were made here in the US was just different than games in Japan.

What made Japanese Games different than English games different than US games was that you could make a game with like ten peole and so that group in Japan didn't talk to that group in England didn't talk to that group in the US. so you would get little idiosyncrasies. You could tell by picking up a game, due t o subtle things, like menus, control scheme even enemies, "oh this was made in X"

Now where it takes like 1000 people to make a hit games become homogenized and we are starting to see a global style in our bigger titles. Guns should work like x menus should work like y and games should be this long etc.

#45 Posted by Turambar (6776 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I don't get the joke.

#46 Posted by RenMcKormack (1074 posts) -

I missed the point of this thread entirely, thought it was about games. I think there are groups of weird folks everywhere. For every lady underpants vending machine in Tokyo (IS THIS REAL OR APOCRYPHAL BTW?) isn't there a guy in Boston dressed like a Pony and some guy in Ireland...watching soccer.

#47 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Turambar:

Take it up with .

@Bocam said:

The one thing that every Japanese person does that pisses me off to no end, is how surprised they are when a foreigner knows Japanese.

To be fair, it is a balls-hard language to learn. I think my constant bitching about it on the site has well established that.

#48 Posted by Turambar (6776 posts) -

@Mesoian: So...does Strom Thurman suddenly represent the country at large? Are you arguing against yourself there?

#49 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Mesoian said:

I don't know what that last link is trying to show.

From what I could gather, it was saying that Japanese people are also pretty cool, at least some of the time. That returning lost items thing and such. I'm guessing I didn't do it well enough to make any damn sense?

@Mesoian said:

No one said that crazy was necessarily bad..

That's usually the underlying assumption, though. I mean, how often do you find people saying, "Japan's weird, and it's fucking awesome because of it"? Not as often as the inverse, I'd say.

That link seems to be more about trying to iron out some misconceptions and show that japanese people are similar to non-japanese people. But most of it is like, "they have pizza on christmas" and "The Geisha's were real and not a hollywood thing", which I don't think anyone was arguing.

As for the perception of japan's weirdness, I think that's the number one thing they have going for their public image, at least with younger people. I mean think about the games' industry. Most people were attracted to japanese games because of how different they were from what was coming out in the west. That brand of crazy was a great billboard for Japan and what lead a lot of people in to the idea of Japanophilia, especially in the 90's and aughts. It's kind of a bummer that things aren't so weird anymore, for whatever reason.

Also, weird is relative. The fact that I can get a can of hot coffee from a vending machine is weird to me because you can't get that in America. Conveyor belt sushi is weird. They do things differently, it's not a bad thing.

I could have done without the passive aggressive racism though.

#50 Posted by RenMcKormack (1074 posts) -

@Happenstance: The 8-4 podcast breaks down TGS in GREAT DETAIL. I actually got into that show based on the Snes stuff, pretty funny stuff.