Culture, technology, market and transnational circulation of cultural products: The glocalization of EA digital games in Taiwan
Ying-Chia Hazel Lin, University of Washington, United States
University of Washington . Awarded
Many of the current globalization study have directed the focus from production to the circulation. In the same vein, this study focused on the transnational circulation of cultural products and used the case of American digital games to answer the following questions: What is the connection between the global circulation of digital games and the localization practice? What are the implications of the localization practiced by the digital game industry in the study of international communication and cultural globalization? More specifically, this project examines how the forces and factors in cultural, economic, and technological domains affect the localization of American digital games in Taiwan. The biggest game company in the US, Electronic Arts (EA), was chosen as the subject of the in-depth analysis. The entire case study was composed by two in-depth analyses: historical-contextual analysis and game localization analysis.
Although the corporate is using the discourse of localization , the analysis of localization in the three circuits of interactivities: culture, technology, and market, demonstrates that the global operation of digital game industry is a blend of centralization and decentralization, and of universalization and particularization. On the one hand, the global transnational corporate has to decentralize to accommodate local differences. On the other hand, it has to maintain its dominance through control and centralization.
For future studies on global communication, we need to develop a more sophisticated model of the analysis and comparison of localization or globalization that would attend to the micro study of transnational circulation and consumption, as well as to the macro study of the structure and context in which the circulation and consumption take place. Globalization should not be seen as merely a social phenomenon but also as a means to help us understand the dynamics of the global and the local under the influences of history, culture, market, and technology.
Lin, Y.C.H. Culture, technology, market and transnational circulation of cultural products: The glocalization of EA digital games in Taiwan. Ph.D. thesis, University of Washington.
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