Exploring Cultural Differences in Game Reception: JRPGs in Germany and Japan

Stefan Brückner, Yukiko Sato, Shuichi Kurabayashi, Ikumi Waraga


In this paper we present the first results of an ongoing research project focused on examining the European reception of Japanese video games, and we compare it with the reception in Japan. We hope to contribute towards a better understanding of how player perception and evaluation of a game is influenced by cultural background. Applying a grounded theory approach, we conducted a qualitative content analysis of articles from German video game
websites, user comments responding to articles, as well as Japanese and German user reviews from the respective Amazon online stores and Steam. Focusing on the reception of three Japanese RPGs, our findings show that considerable differences exist in how various elements of the games are perceived between cultures. We also briefly discuss certain lexical differences in the way players write about games, indicating fundamental differences in how Japanese and German players talk (and think) about games.


Japanese games, reception, Germany, user reviews, QDA, grounded theory

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26503/todigra.v4i3.105
Published by the Digital Games Research Association.