Tumblr and Japanese Video Games.

This past week I’ve been hanging around Tumblr, checking out a number of blogs dedicated to video games in general and to specific games. I also got around to setting up my own Tumblr blog for my digital artifact.

Before I get into the details of my experiences with two Tumblr blogs, I would like to mention that the focus of my autoethnographic study has shifted a little. It’s no longer just about me playing video games (though I’ll still be doing that); it’s now more broadly about Japanese handheld video games. I’ll look at their history and evolution, as well as explore the fandom communities online (mostly through my Tumblr blog).

I found these two blogs easily enough by searching ‘Japanese video games’ and ‘vintage games’ on Tumblr and picking a random suggested blog.

The first blog I checked out was ‘tendercute’, which, while it doesn’t just have Japanese video game posts, has many which are related to handheld games. The blog boasts to have the most recent US and Japanese game articles already translated (“so you don’t have to”). I find this particularly interesting, as the blogger must be thinking that people who speak English (perhaps of ‘Western’ origin) won’t be able to find and read Japanese articles elsewhere. I certainly found it helpful that everything was in English, and I suppose if I found an article in Japanese I would have to trust Google to translate it for me (seriously, why would I bother trying to find someone else to translate?). The layout and minimalist design of the blog makes it really easy to look at and search through. I suppose this made me feel quite calm while looking through the pages, and that in turn made me keep looking.

The second blog was ‘vintage-games’. The blog is dedicated to video games and their characters. It’s a bit overwhelming, particularly compared to ‘tendercute’, as the background is really busy, and with the posts overlaying it sort of hurt my eyes. This actually made me a bit sad as the blogs’ content is great, but I didn’t look through many pages because of the background. I’m not really sure why it made me feel like this. Could it be that I’ve been taught to like things clear or plain? (knowing my mum that wouldn’t surprise me) Or is it a more cultural thing? (or am I seriously over analysing a simple thing?) Anyway, I would be interested to find out what other people think of the blog, and what their audience statistics are.

Also if anyone has any tips or comment for my own blog, I would love to hear!

– Gabi

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5 comments

  1. What a great start on your digital artefact! You’ve started a what looks like a great investigation into handheld video games. At this stage it looks like you are mainly using tumblr to curate the images, were you maybe thinking of investigating the patterns of interaction with the content further? Tumblr is an interesting platform to use and if you were thinking of going down this route, it might be helpful to use the “ask me” function to investigate the experiences of the other users you mentioned in their curation methods. You might also be able to better engage by finding/documenting your own experience with handheld video games either on tumblr as a sort of meta investigation or in real life. I hope this was helpful!

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  2. If you are investigating handheld gaming in Japan, will be mentioning the rise of mobile gaming? I haven’t been to Japan, but from what I’ve heard, public transport used to be a space filled with handheld consoles like Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vitas. But as gaming has shifted towards mobile phones as a popular platform, Japanese audiences are moving away from dedicated handheld gaming consoles. Now on public transport in Japan, everyone will be looking down at their phones to play games instead of consoles. Nintendo are still holding out from porting their games to mobile phones though despite pressure from stockholders. This is a bit of a generalization but I hope this gives you an idea for further research.

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  3. Thanks for the suggestions! I’m still not sure if anything I’m doing is right so it’s nice to get some ideas from other people.
    I think I will, at the very least, touch on mobile gaming; if I don’t look at it specifically. Because Brendon you raise a really good point about the rise of mobile gaming.
    And James, I have been pondering how to use the ‘ask’ function and get people involved, and your idea is a great one! Now I’ll just have to hope that I can get people who will send me stuff. (and let’s be honest, that’s half the battle)
    – Gabi

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  4. I feel your pain with the love hate relationship with tumblr backgrounds. It’s probably a bit late but the easiest way to overcome it is to follow the blog then you can view it from your dashboard and not have to be on their blog… I think.
    Having read one of your more recent posts before reading this it’s cool to see how far your idea has progress and it’s turned out pretty great in my opinion!

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  5. I too am making a Tumblr for my digital artefact, and while it been fun making my own Tumblr, I have come to similar grips with the platform. I have found it really difficult to trace reblogged posts and have also found it difficult to find blog that are 1) Japanese and 2) translated so I can read what the hell is going on. I know this is a late post, but I just checked out your page and it looks fantastic to date! Tumblr is a great platform (I have found) for curating artefacts that relate to a chosen area of study and allow for a more fun and interpretive style of investigation.

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