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The usual narrative about modern Japanese popular culture locates its origins in postwar manga (print comics) and animation, with videogames often being left out of the discussion. This talk will reintegrate games into the history and evolution of Japanese visual culture by tracing the impact of manga artists and techniques on early videogame development in Japan, and by showing how Japanese games have served as a vehicle for showcasing aesthetics such as “Superflat” and moe.

Ben Whaley is Assistant Professor of modern Japanese literature and popular culture in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, U of C.