Otome Games: Narrative, Gender and Globalization




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The goal of the thesis is to answer the question of how otome (maiden) games, despite their heavily cultured origins, have been able to create playable romance narratives that a global audience can understand, relate, play, and enjoy. In order to do so, the thesis utilizes Hakuōki: Kyoto Winds, an otome game focused on romancing the young men of the Shinsengumi (special force who served under the military government in the Bakumatsu period), as a focus. Chapter 1 examines otome games through its narrative structure and gameplay mechanics, such as: avatar immersion, historical narrative, and the visual style of dynamic immobility. Chapter 2 discusses otome games as gendered games for women with a focus on their portrayal of traditional gender roles and their ability to create game spaces in which women can play with their identity. Chapter 3 explores the globalization of the otome game genre, paying attention to the internationalization and localization of the games. This is especially a topic of interest because otome games, as their name would indicate, are culturally coded and yet that has not deterred the game genre’s success outside of Japan.





Lopez, Caitlin (2019). Otome Games: Narrative, Gender and Globalization. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19016.

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