Otome Games: Narrative, Gender and Globalization

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2019-04-04

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Abstract

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.

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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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