Japan: the Ritsumeikan University hosted a scholarly event about the NES, in May

2015 marks the 30th Anniversary of the NES outside Japan, and to celebrate, the Ritsumeikan University in Japan hosted a 3 days scholarly event in May. The event took place at the university’s Kinugasa Campus in Kyoto’s Kita Ward, on May 21st-23rd. Video game researchers from all around the world came in order to talk about the impact on the NES on society as a whole.

Various topics were taclked during this event, such as:

– why is the form of the NES different in the West compared to Japan?
– can the “Japaneness” be found in Super Mario Bros.?
– how the NES gained popularity in Finland.

For Florent Gorges (a journalist that fans even remotely interested in Nintendo’s history probably know pretty well), this event was quite fulfilling:

“Having had an opportunity to interact with experts from around the world in Kyoto, where Nintendo came into being, my field of vision was broadened.”

This rather peculiar study session was co-hosted by Geoffrey Rockwell, a professor at the University of Alberta in Canada, who firmly believes that the modern home console industry as we know it wouldn’t exist at all if not for the NES. Therefore, he also believes that the console itself is a very important topic for research, which encompasses various themes: video game industry, impact on history and philosophy.


But that’s not all: in 2011, the Ritsumeikan University established the Center for Games Studies in April 2011, with Masayuki Uemura as Director. Uemura isn’t just anybody: he actually was in charge of developing the Famicom (Japanese name of the NES) at Nintendo. They recently begun various undertakings, including a very ambitious one: a collection of video game titles.

In May, the University also announced a partnership with The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y, to promote personnel exchanges and joint studies, but also to host a special exhibition deciated to the 30th Anniversary of the NES in the West, this Autumn. A video interview of Masayuki Uemura will be shown, as well as various exhibits.

Here’s what Akinori Nakamura (a Professor who took part in the event) had to say about all this:

“The Famicom is a good example of Japanese culture capturing the hearts of people across the world,” said Akinori Nakamura, 45, a professor who took a leading part in the study session. “With interest also growing outside Japan thanks to the 30th anniversary, I want to take this opportunity to re-examine (the Famicom) in a scholarly manner.”

Source: Asahi


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.

Leave a Reply