Replaying Japan

Ludolympics 2020

From August 10 to 12, 2020, the Liège Game Lab and the University of Liège have the honour of hosting the 8th edition of Replaying Japan. This year’s conference theme will be “Ludolympics 2020”. For this edition, we will focus on the e-sport scene in Japan, its cultural particularities and/or on games’ and sports’ interconnections.

The esport being a current phenomenon of a considerable scale, it is important to study it from various perspectives. Therefore, we invite you to submit topics based on various aspects, be they related to competitive video game practices, video game performance and to the mediatization or spectacularization of this performance, video games’ (in)accessibility, representation or any other original approach to the conference’s theme.

The call for Paper

All the information concerning the registration to the conference, as well as the links to the different platforms are available at the following address :


Given the restrictions associated with the COVID19 epidemic, the Replaying Japan 2020 conference will finally have to be held in an online format. The organizing committee is therefore currently defining a procedure for organizing an online conference that will offer all the contributions expected from this type of event, both scientifically and socially.

The medium and format of the conference will soon be specified in a later announcement. However, the following information may already be announced:

  • As the participants of Replaying Japan come from very distant time zones, the times when we will all be able to meet together live will be limited to three hours a day (i.e., from 14:00 to 17:00 – Belgian time). For this reason, we are going to slightly extend the duration of the conference: it will take place from 10 to 13 August (and no longer from 10 to 12 only).
  • Moreover, we will opt for a system where presentations will be made available in advance to all participants on a platform that will allow them not only to consult them, but also to open asynchronous discussions through forums. Participants and members of the public will be asked to consult the papers in advance and the time of the conference will be dedicated to live discussions and the broadcast of the keynote presentations.
  • Social activities will be organized in parallel to the conference to provide informal meeting moments between participants and members of the public.

We are aware that this is an important organizational change in comparison to how scientific gatherings usually take place, but we sincerely believe that the current situation can be an opportunity to develop and test innovative models of scientific exchange that will be as fruitful as the old ones, in their own way. We therefore hope that you will be willing to join in this collective experimentation!

Hoping this message finds you healthy and safe,

The organizing committee

Keynote Speakers

Susana Tosca is Associate Professor of Digital Media at the Department of Arts and Humanities at Roskilde University. Her research interests include Japanese pop culture, digital storytelling, transmediality, computer games and video game spectatorship


Florent Gorges is the President of Omake Books Editions (France) and the co-founder of Pix’n Love Editions; he is a specialist in the history of Nintendo as well as a TV presenter, a translator and interpreter, a biographer of game developers and an author of documentaries about Japanese games.

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts must be submitted through the platform EasyChair, following this link: <>

Abstract registration deadline: February 3, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: April, 2020
All papers must be original. The following paper categories are welcome:

  • Full papers, posters/demos and short papersplease send anonymized abstracts (pdf) of no more than 500 words in English or Japanese

  • Panels: panel proposals should have a maximum length of 1500 words, including a description of each presentation and a short biography of each participant; they can be submitted in English or Japanese

Figures, tables and references do not count toward the word limit.

Proposals in Japanese are most welcome! 日本語の発表要旨はrcgs[a]にご送付ください。詳しくはRCGSのウェブサイトをご覧ください

Contact Information

Fanny Barnabé <*protected email*>



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AUGUST 10, 2020

Module 1: Keynote Speaker

Florent Gorges (President of Omake Books Editions) – The First Steps of Japanese Esport

Module 2: Birth and Development of Esport in Japan

Hiroyasu Kato (Kanto Gakuin University) – Infancy of eSports events in Japan

Yuhsuke Koyama (Shibaura Institute of Technology) and Akira Igarashi (Foundation for Multimedia Communication) – Why Japan has slowed the development of esports?

Akinori Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University) – Comparative Studies on the development of Esports industry- Japan, China and the USA

Module 3: Playing Environments and Game Spectatorship

Julie Delbouille (University of Liège) – The Professional Player, the Avatar and Me. How Game Spectatorship Reshapes our Relationship to Playable Figures

Vincenzo Idone Cassone (University of Turin) – No One Parries Forever: a Retro-comparative Analysis of EVO moment #37

Julien Bouvard (University Jean Moulin-Lyon 3) – Playing in front of a giant screen: Tsukuba Expo 85 ’and video games, the source of Japanese esports?

Bertrand Grimonprez (Catholic University of Louvain) – Sensory dimensions of arcades in Tokyo

AUGUST 11, 2020

Module 4: Japanese Games, Society and Identities

Laurence Herfs (Leiden University) – Japanese nation branding in Atlus’ Persona V

Mikhail Fiadotau (Tallinn University) – Isolated Connectedness: Applying the Concept of Transinsularity to Japan’s Game History

Sélim Krichane (University of Lausanne) – Hideo Kojima as “Author” in the West: Towards a Historical and Discursive Analysis of Video Game Authorship

Nökkvi Jarl Bjarnason (University of Iceland) – Japan’s Hard(ware) Power: Consoles, Culture, and the Mass Appeal of Japanese Role-Playing Games

Module 5: Data-driven Historical Perspectives and State of the Japanese Video Game Industry

Martin Picard (University of Leipzig) – How Numbers Can Tell The Story: A Data-Driven Analysis of the Development of the Video Game Industry in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s

Kazufumi Fukuda (Ritsumeikan University) – A Development of LOD Dataset for Description of Video Game Resources

Keiji Amano (SEIJOH University) and Geoffrey Rockwell (University of Alberta) – Ethics and Gaming: Through the content analysis of the annual reports of the Japanese Game Industry

Martin Roth (Ritsumeikan University) – FromSoftware games between local and global: A data-centered analysis of the historical change in videogame production and distribution

Module 6: Amateur Scenes in Japan

Nobushige Kobayashi (Tohoku Gakuin University) and Yuhsuke Koyama (Shibaura Institute of Technology) – The Japan’s Hobbyist Video Game Production Field and its Impacts on the Game Industries in the 1990s

Alexandre Benod (University of Grenoble) – From Amateur to Pro: The French Trajectory of Japanese Fighting Games

Kieran Nolan (Dundalk Institute of Technology) – DIY Micro Arcades: Game Center Dioramas and Coin-Op Miniatures

AUGUST 12, 2020

Module 7: Japanese Games and Affects

Hélène Sellier (University Paris Est Marne la Vallée) – Mobile otome games: desire and suspense as economic strategies

Luca Paolo Bruno (Leipzig University) – Intimate sporting: sports and sports-related themes within Japanese Character Intimacy Games

Joleen Blom (IT University of Copenhagen) – Your Fantasies are Quantified: Western Perspectives on Sex and Sexuality in Japanese Erotic Games

Leticia Andlauer (University of Lille) – When sport is a market targeted to female audiences: a study of gender representations in otome games and related productions

Module 8: Aesthetics, Contemplation and Narration in Japanese Games

Alexandre Paquet (University of Toronto) – Delivering Packages in Apocalyptic Times: Utopia and Collectives in Death Stranding

Paul-Antoine Colombani (University of Liège) – The poetic trial of Wander: case study of Wander and the Colossus

Gregory Blomquist (University of Alberta) and Braidon Schaufert (University of Alberta) – Playing Towards the Horizon: Spectacle and the Sublime in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Marcos Acevedo-Arús (Temple University) – What a Thrill: Opening Theme as Narrative in « Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater »

Module 9: Meta Play and Competition

James Newman (Bath Spa University) – Running through code: Backwalking, Wrong Warping and the transformativity of The Ocarina of Time Any% speedrun

Alexandra Dumont (University of Quebec in Montreal) – “The Gacha Gods Were Good to Me Today!”: Game of Chance and the Desire to Perform in the Mobile Game GranBlue

Shunsuke Mukae (Ritsukmeika University) – Dark Meta Play and Ethics of Interface

AUGUST 13, 2020

Module 10: Keynote Speaker

Susana Tosca (Roskilde University) – Mediating the Promised Gameland

Module 11: Playing and Remixing Time and Culture

Tianyu Li (University of British Columbia) – Looking Back through the Eyes of Others: How Azur Lane Evades Controversies through Reconstructing Fragmented Memories of War

Marek Mikeš (Masaryk University) – A Classical Work in a Modern Medium: The Tale of Genji Gamified

Lars de Wildt (KU Leuven) – Opening my Shinto Box: The Mixing of Religions, Traditions and Fictions in JRPG

Module 12: Sociability in and Around Japanese Games

Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon, Alexandra Dumont, Antoine Jobin, Patrick Deslauriers and Maude Bonenfant (University of Quebec in Montreal) – “Finally! My first shiny!”: Social Media, Gameplay Mechanics and Production of the Self in #PokémonSwordShield on Twitter

Yuhei Ikeda, Taktoshi Honda, Jiro Nishida, Issho Takahashi and Shinya Saito (Ritsumeikan University) – Development of Geographic Information SNS Game to Promote Sharing of Cultural Resources of University

Miguel Cesar (Colegio Madrid) – Being Social in a Time of Loneliness: Animal Crossing and Bonding in Contemporary Japan