chapter  3
Japan and its Others in fighting games
WithRachael Hutchinson
Pages 31

This chapter examines how Japanese characters are designed in specific ways to contrast against characters from elsewhere. It demonstrates how Japan and its others are constructed through representation, manipulation rules and goal rules in binary fighting games, drawing some common threads between the earliest examples of these games and the numerous titles that proliferated in the 1990s. The chapter discusses the analysis of ideology in games by considering elements beyond the screen, namely game peripherals, the physicality of play, and the significance of the play space, the arcade, or game centre. Compared to role-playing games or action-adventure games, story and characterization take place at different points of gameplay in the fighting game genre. Fighting games are more susceptible to retcons and narrative tampering than other game genres, simply because their story structure is not linear to start with.