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Visual Rhetoric_Annotated Bibliography #3

Kitami, Kodia, Ryosuke Saga, and Kazunori Matsumoto. (2011). “Comparison Analysis of Video Game Purchase Factors between Japanese and American Consumers.” Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume, 6883, 285-294. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-23854-3_30

 Kitami, Saga, and Matsumoto’s article looks at psychological factors, going beyond the usual factors of genre and console, that go into consumers’ purchases of video games. The authors begin by constructing “a purchase factor model using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), which [they] use [to] analyze the influences of factors quantitatively” in an effort “to clarify the latent purchase factors of Japanese consumers” (p. 286). They also mention that, while constructing the SEM, they attempted to avoid the subjective nature inherent in constructed models by proposing “a factor model construction process that uses KJ method,” claiming that, with this method, they “can perform a comparison analysis of Japanese and American consumers’ purchase factors in order to develop a game that will be a best-seller in both countries” (p. 286).  The authors state that the KJ method, “developed by J. Kawakita in 1951,” has four steps: “1) Create cards: Establishing a theme and writing ideas and facts related to theme; 2) Make groups: Grouping related cards and labeling groups; 3) Create diagram: Arranging the labeled groups according to directions for casual relationships; and 4) Summarize: Synthesizing the meaning of the completed diagram via text” (p. 288). The authors then break the rest of their article into four sections: 1) “the transition and characteristics of the Japanese and American game industries,” 2) “the creativity technique and proposed process,” 3) a description of the “environments and results of the experiment,” and 4) a discussion of the results.

Figure of the process used by Kitami, Saga, and Matsumoto. Located on page 289.

Figure of the process used by Kitami, Saga, and Matsumoto. Located on page 289.

For their experiment, the three authors “formed three Japanese groups and three American group…[and] asked these groups to form KJ method, construct six factor models, and analyze purchase factors,” which they then used to “compare the differences in psychological factors between Japanese and American consumers, with their future focus being on university students (p. 289). The authors record that they collected data on 1083 video digital games, “which were evaluated by consumers on the user review site ‘PlayStation mk2’ to analyze purchase factors of Japanese consumers [using] 16 parameters (platform, maker, genre, price, rating (target age), userrank (game rank), playnum (number of players), median (comprehensive evaluation), reviews (number of reviews), originality, sound, excite, amenity, graphics, satisfaction, and difficulty)” (p. 290). And they “collected data on 5764 video games on the user review site ‘IGN Entertainment Games’ to analyze purchase factors of American consumers…[using] 11 parameters (genre, publisher, month (release month), price, platform, rating, graphics, sound, gameplay, lasting appeal, and overall)” (p. 290). The authors concluded that “Game content has a large influence on consumers purchase motivation in both countries; Japanese consumers have strong brand consciousness and conservativeness; Japanese consumers have little consideration for genre and platform; Series information and games expansion strongly affect American consumers’ purchase behavior and overall evaluation; and American consumers prefer education games and games involving physical activity to other games” (p. 293).

I was really excited when I found this article because I was expecting the authors to really hash out the differences in Japanese and American consumers’ values and beliefs that affect the kinds of games that they purchase, which would help me think about the localization efforts of the PlayStation 4 campaign advertisements. However, this text has so many flaws that I am now looking at it for what not to do in the future. The authors left so many gaps in their explanation of their study, leaving me wondering how they chose the three groups of Japanese video game consumers and three groups of American consumers? How many people were in each group? Were these people biased towards different genres? How were they chosen? I also questioned their data collection about video games, as there is a huge difference between collecting data on 1038 games to analyze purchase factors of Japanese consumers and collecting data on 5764 games to analyze purchase factors of American consumers. Why the difference in parameters used for analysis? How did they choose which parameters for each of the countries? And then there is the issue of the sales ratios of video games genres (see below), where the genres are mostly different. Unlike the image of these two countries’ video game markets, both countries’ video game industries have quite a market for all of the genres listed on both pie charts. The family entertainment that is listed so firmly in the American market is predominately from the Nintendo games, with many of them being developed by Japanese studios. And as someone who is a huge role-playing game fan and deeply aware of the culture that surrounds such games, I am deeply wary of that genre not being listed as one of the main genres for the American market. I am not quite sure how the authors really broke down their data to come up with such results, though I am curious about the SEM and KJ method they used, but their study raised more questions than could ever be answered by their text. However, I may be speaking from a staunch source of gaming bias and ruffled RPG feathers.

Kitami, Saga, and Matsumoto included two figures breaking down popular genres in Japanese and American video game markets, respectively. Located on page 287.

Kitami, Saga, and Matsumoto included two figures breaking down popular genres in Japanese and American video game markets, respectively. Located on page 287.

To fan or not to fan shouldn’t even be a question

Visual Rhetoric_Annotated Bibliography #1

de Pedro Ricoy, R. (2007). Internationalization vs. localization: The translation of videogame advertising. Meta 52(2), pp. 260-275. Retrieved from http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/2007/v52/n2/016069ar.pdf

             [insert nifty annotation here] In regards to my own research, de Pedro Ricoy’s article is extremely useful as the author breaks down the global advertising strategies of the top three game companies — Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — based not only on gender, but also on nationality, language, and cultural expectations. It is fascinating to think of all of the elements that have to be taken into account as the public relations and marketing teams plan the release of games and consoles, and how a misstep in any of the plans can lead to decreased interest in an entire country for the products associated with that console. One of the author’s examples that gave me pause was the lack of interest by Japanese consumers in Microsoft’s Xbox because Microsoft had chosen a date they thought would be auspicious without doing enough research to find out that Japanese employees would not be paid until a few days after the release date, leading the Japanese to doubt Microsoft’s ability to successfully localize their campaigns. As I move forward with my analysis of Sony’s “Greatness Awaits” campaign commercials in North America, de Pedro Ricoy’s article will give me a foundation through which to understand the rhetorical strategies that formed the basis of Sony’s approach to localizing their campaign to draw in an American audience.

A little music for the scholarship 


Visual Rhetoric_Annotated Bibliography #1

de Pedro Ricoy, R. (2007). Internationalization vs. localization: The translation of videogame advertising. Meta 52(2), pp. 260-275. Retrieved from http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/2007/v52/n2/016069ar.pdf

            For her article, de Pedro Ricoy approaches the topic of localization versus internalization and the rhetoric employed in global video game advertising through the lens of translation theory, marketing, and semiology. The main research question seems to be centered on what type of analysis would be best suited to exploring and evaluating the marketing strategies of video game console developers as they reach out to global audiences, and whether it is localization or internationalization that is most prevalent in these strategies. With regards to the methodology, the author establishes the target audience for video game marketers by moving through the demographics of the players and the buyers as well as discussing the importance of global marketing strategies to the success of the top three video game console developers— Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — as they spend millions of dollars in their quest to draw in new players while continuing to cater to existing fanbases. As she moves through her analysis of global advertisings by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, de Pedro Ricoy looks at examples of textual, static visuals (promotional images), and televised advertisements  to explore how the companies’ marketing teams attempted to either localize their advertisements to a specific country/culture they were trying to reach, or internationalize their advertisements in order to reach the greatest number of potential buyers/players with the belief that globalization has eroded cultural boundaries.

             The author highlights how certain advertisements were received in the countries they were targeting and notes how/why some failed (sometimes miserably) in those countries. de Pedro Ricoy (2007) concludes that “it seems that internationalizing strategies (which imply a degree of foreignization) are more prevalent than localizing strategies in the global campaigns for these products. Whilst different regions may have preserved their overall cultural singularity, certain demographic segments (young, relatively affluent consumers, in this instance) share a common identity that transcends geographical borders” (p. 273). She also lists four “examples of linguistic translation” that she uncovered while doing her research: “1) Literal translation, 2) Free translation, 3) gist translation, and 4) Generation of new text (based in a set of common features) in the context of copy adaptation” (de Pedro Ricoy, 2007, p. 273).

             In regards to my own research, de Pedro Ricoy’s article is extremely useful as the author breaks down the global advertising strategies of the top three game console companies  based not only on gender, but also on nationality, language, and cultural expectations. It is fascinating to think of all of the elements that have to be taken into account as the public relations and marketing teams plan the release of games and consoles, and how a misstep in any of the plans can lead to decreased interest in an entire country for the products associated with that console. One of the author’s examples that gave me pause was the lack of interest by Japanese consumers in Microsoft’s Xbox because Microsoft had chosen a date they thought would be auspicious without doing enough research to find out that Japanese employees would not be paid until a few days after the release date, leading the Japanese to doubt Microsoft’s ability to successfully localize their campaigns. As I move forward with my analysis of Sony’s “Greatness Awaits” campaign commercials in North America, de Pedro Ricoy’s article will give me a foundation through which to understand the rhetorical strategies that formed the basis of Sony’s approach to localizing their campaign to draw in an American audience.

A little music for the scholarship