Contribution from freelance writer Jocelyn Brown.
For decades, Asian culture has shown an affinity for animation and computer games. However, they’ve done so much more than merely enjoying the consumption of these art forms. There are a few areas of common ground amongst various Asian Cultures that have impacted the ways in which modern gaming and animation are created and experienced.
It’s well-known that Asian cultures have nearly always put special emphasis on the importance of the family unit and being community-oriented. As many of the earliest gaming and animation companies were based in Asia, it’s easy to see how they’ve developed according to Asian values.
For example, the prevalence of online gaming is telling. Of the 1.2 billion reported regular gamers around the world, about 700 million of them play online—that’s 58.3%. Furthermore, the average online gamer spends at least 6.5 hours a week playing with other people. Online gaming is usually defined by teamwork and communities—a common and prominent aspect of Asian culture.
Anime is a particularly famous style from this area of the world, but it’s just one of many examples of the spirit of Asian art. Long before there was anime, there was dramatic kabuki in Japan, colorful festivals in China, spontaneous Korean dancing, and so much more.
Truthfully, Asian culture is full of vitality and boldness, celebrating emotion and beauty by exaggerating it, even when society itself was rigid. Nowadays, a lot of animation in films, shows, and video games is based on conscious, artistic hyperbole in some way or another. It is part of what makes animation and gaming so visually entertaining and frequently stunning.
Many video games created in Asia exhibit intriguingly beautiful amalgamations of Western and Asian culture and aesthetics, drawing from myths and storytelling techniques from both regions. In fact, Japan has put out some of the most popular video games of all time, of which this list names only a few.
Japan is also home to one of the most famous animation companies in Asia—Studio Ghibli, known for its visually spectacular stories that promote ideas like peace and harmony, clearly influenced by the Asian commitment to the concept of community that we mentioned earlier. Those movies have been praised worldwide.
The fact is that animation and video games are increasingly being acknowledged as respectable art forms. We partially have Asian culture to thank for that. As art continues to evolve, Asia will be an active participant with it.