Understanding Japanese Games Education


  • José P. Zagal


games education, japan, challenges


Although videogame education research is a growing area of interest, most work has examined practices in the US and Europe. In this article I describe the results of a study that explored how game design and development is taught in Japan and the challenges students face as they learn. For this study I interviewed ten people who teach game design and development courses in Japan. These interviews were conducted in person, recorded, and transcribed. The transcripts were analyzed using an iterative coding process to identify emergent themes. This study’s results support earlier findings regarding common challenges students face. For example, students often have difficulties generating creative game ideas and concepts, preferring to “mimic” games they are familiar with. Some findings also provide insights into issues that may be culturally specific. For instance, games education isn’t an area of explosive interest from the part of students as is currently the case in the US and Europe. Overall, games education in Japan does not seem to be that different from what is done in other places around the world. This is encouraging, since it suggests that solutions to pedagogical problems identified could be applied and shared more broadly.





@Conference{digra684, title ="Understanding Japanese Games Education", year = "2014", author = "Zagal, José P.", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{https://dl.digra.org/index.php/dl/article/view/684}", booktitle = "Proceedings of DiGRA 2013 Conference"}