JRPGs versus WRPGs

The Realities and Fantasies of the Genre Division

Spread from the "JRPGs versus WRPGs" article as laid out for print. On the pages are two pairs of images of old computer games, with each pair showing the similaries of each

Graduating research paper for the Pacific and Asian Studies major at the University of Victoria (April 2018). Written under the instruction of Dr. Richard King, the intent of this assignment was to research a topic relevant to the Asia-Pacific and globalization.

"JRPGs versus WRPGs: The Realities and Fantasies of the Genre Division" compares Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs) to Western ones (WRPGs), exploring the origins and definitions of role-playing games (RPGs), the history of RPG video games in the West and in Japan, and how RPG video games split into two separate genres—divided by region. I argue that the division, while based on contrasting game elements and cultural differences, is a convenient categorization that ignores the long history of culturally hybrid games—including many contemporary RPGs.