Race, colonial history and national identity: Resident Evil 5 as a Japanese game

Martin, Paul (2016) Race, colonial history and national identity: Resident Evil 5 as a Japanese game. Games and Culture . ISSN 1555-4139

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Resident Evil 5 is a zombie game made by Capcom featuring a White American protagonist and set in Africa. This paper argues that approaching this as a Japanese game reveals aspects of a Japanese racial and colonial social imaginary that are missed if this context of production is ignored. In terms of race, the game presents hybrid racial subjectivities that can be related to Japanese perspectives of Blackness and Whiteness where these terms are two poles of difference and identity through which an essentialised Japanese identity is constructed in what Iwabuchi calls “strategic hybridism” (Iwabuchi, 2002). In terms of colonialism, the game echoes structures of Japanese colonialism through which Japanese colonialism is obliquely memorialised and a “normal” Japanese global subjectivity can be performed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: race, postcolonialism, Japan, memory, Resident Evil, normal country, avatar, social imaginary, implied player, hybridism
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham Ningbo China > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of International Communications
Identification Number: 10.1177/1555412016631648
Depositing User: YUAN, Ziqi
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2018 12:48
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2018 13:08
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/48877

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