World Craft: The Business and Culture of Gaming in East Asia

DATE: Friday-Saturday, February 25-26, 2011

PLACE: Various Locations – See the directions tab

SPONSORS: Institute of East Asian Studies, Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, Center for Korean Studies, Berkeley Center for New Media, Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco, and The Shorenstein Foundation



This conference will examine how video games and video gaming, online and offline, are reconfiguring media landscapes and transforming social space throughout East Asia. Each panel will bring together developers and scholars working in multiple disciplines to address East Asia's role in the global division of labor of the gaming world. How can we account for the phenomenon and negative perceptions of "Chinese gold-farming" in the MMORPG community, or the distinctive place of Korea in the economy of game production? What of distinctively East Asian cultures of gaming, from proprietary game consoles, to the prevalence of the internet café and other mediated urban spaces, as well as the transregional circulation of the otaku/zhainan figure in popular culture? What are the politics of gaming in East Asia, and how might they differ from other locations? By the same token, how might culture, race, and geography be seen as a component of game design and game play, both within and outside of East Asia? How do globally popular games such as the Civilization series or Ages of Empire place Asia in the world? How are East Asian cultures, fantasmic or not, evoked by way of spatial renderings, movement, music and sound, or narrative and discursive elements drawn from other, sometimes older, media, such as landscape painting, martial arts cinema, manga, and Chinese opera? How do players negotiate these spaces, and what possibilities exist for the crafting of alternative worlds? Timed to coincide with the 2011 Game Developer's Conference across the Bay in San Francisco, this much more intimately scaled meeting will not only showcase the vital significance of Asian markets and modalities, but also provide a space in which gaming theory can grapple with the complexities of East Asian game worlds.


Friday, February 25, 2011
2011 Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, CITRIS Building

1:30 – 1:45 Welcome Remarks

Panel 1: Topographies of Gaming in East Asia
1:45 – 3:30

Charles Huang, "Détente? The Future of Gaming in East Asia"

Graham Candy, "The Social Topographies of Online Games: China and North America in a Comparative Frame"

Bonnie Nardi, "Grounded Comparison, or Avoiding Hegemonic Theorizing in Cross-cultural Research: A Few Easy Steps"

Moderator: Petrus Liu

3:30 – 4:00 Break

Film: War of Internet Addiction 网瘾战争
4:00 – 6:30

4:00 – 4:30 Remarks: Xiao Qiang

4:30 – 5:30 Film

5:30 – 6:30 Discussion

6:30 – 7:30 Reception

Saturday, February 26, 2011
David Brower Center, Downtown Berkeley
Panel 2: The Work of Play: Race and Labor in a Transnational Frame
9:00 – 11:30

Rachael Hutchinson, "(Dis)figuring China: Race, Disability and Player Identification in Grand Theft Auto III: San Andreas"

Lisa Nakamura, "All the Work without the Worker: Racial Microaggression and the New Orientalism in World of Warcraft"

Petrus Liu, "Sid Meier’s Chinese Civilization and Its Discontents"

Holin Lin, "Migrating to a Foreign Game World – Conflict, Adaptation and Identity Negotiation between Chinese and Local Players on Taiwanese WoW servers"

Moderator: Irene Chien, UC Berkeley

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch Break

Panel 3: Global Business, Local Strategies
12:30 – 2:30

Haruki Satomi, "Marketing Sega in the West"

Yongjae Min, "Nexon and Online Gaming"

Mia Consalvo, "The Strategies of Square Enix"

Moderator: TBA

2:30 – 3:00 Break

Panel 4: World-Making and Reading the World Within the Game
3:00 – 5:00

Jenova Chen, "Making Video Games, Making Art"

Teri Silvio, "Performance and Animation, Self-making and World-Making"

Michael Craig, "Problems of JRPG Criticism and the Question of Close 'Reading'"

Moderator: Alenda Chang, UC Berkeley



Graham Candy, University of Toronto
Jenova Chen, Thatgamecompany
Michael Craig, UC Berkeley
Mia Consalvo, MIT
Charles Huang, Guitar Hero Corp.
Rachael Hutchinson, University of Delaware
Holin Lin, National Taiwan University
Petrus Liu, Cornell University
Yongjae Min, Nexon
Bonnie Nardi, UC Irvine
Lisa Nakamura, University of Illinois
Haruki Satomi, SEGA
Teri Silvio, Academia Sinica
Constance Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Xiao Qiang, UC Berkeley



The events for World Craft: The Business and Culture of Gaming in East Asia will take place in two locations around the Berkeley campus.

Friday, February 25, 2011 – 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium

See section B5 on this large campus map.

Suturdja Dai Hall

Saturday, February 26, 2011 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. – David Brower Center – 2150 Allston Way

See section D1 on this large campus map.

David Brower Center

Directions to the UC Campus

If traveling by BART, exit the Richmond-Fremont line at the Downtown Berkeley station (not North Berkeley). When you leave the BART station, walk east to the campus.

From Interstate 80

To reach the campus by car from Interstate 80, exit at the University Avenue off-ramp in Berkeley. Take University Avenue about two miles east to Oxford Avenue.

From Highways 24/13

To reach the campus from Highway 24, exit 24 at Telegraph Avenue. Turn right on Telegraph Avenue and continue about two miles until you reach campus.

Parking at UC Berkeley

There are various public parking lots and facilities near the Berkeley campus and in downtown Berkeley. This list includes municipal and privately owned parking lots and garages open to the public. Please consult signs for hours and fees prior to entering the facilities.

Other lots:

  • Berkeley Way near Shattuck
  • Center Street near Shattuck
  • Allston Way near Shattuck
  • Kittredge Street near Milvia

More information is available on the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation page.