Category Archives: housekeeping

Cleaning up the Chirashi Database

I have not been feeding this blog properly for a little while now. Since my return to Edmonton, I have been working exclusively on my dissertation; the objective is to get the first chapter done before the start of the next round of conference travels in Montréal and Leipzig. I will share my thoughts on this aspect of the project one it becomes clearer to me.

In the meantime, I have been working on cleaning up the Chirashi database. As it stood, the file names were not rational, and finding a specific document without the use of the php interface was difficult. I now have a document naming protocol which should help streamline the integration of the documents I acquired since January. Look forward to another announcement about that in the near future.

Field Research At Ritsumeikan University


The research for my PhD project on Japanese game centers has officially started.

Two weeks ago I received word from SSHRC informing me that my request for the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements available only to Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship recipients was finally granted. This means that I will be in Japan from January to April 2016 to conduct the final steps of my field research before I can start working on the project properly.

From January to March, I will stay in Kyoto in order to work with my research trip supervisor Prof. Koichi Hosoi on his arcade game preservation project. There, I will follow the most recent trends on arcade game preservation in Japan and I will have access to all sorts of material (cabinets, magazines, photographs, …) that will help develop some of the arguments in my own thesis. I also hope to be able to talk to both academics and industry people in the project.

I plan to write weekly reports of this three-month adventure on this blog to share discoveries and thoughts. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to let me know if you are in either Kyoto or Tokyo next year!

December 18: The Thesis Awakens

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Yesterday marked the release of the new Star Wars movie, as well as the oral examination of my PhD research project. In both cases, it was the start of two massive long-term projects. On one hand,  unending stream of a new generation of Star Wars products that Disney will convince the planet to purchase over the next decade and, on the other hand, the official start of my research on game centers, the biggest academic endeavour of my career. My thesis truly awoke amidst the fruitful conversations with the seven professors in the room that day.

A few things to remember during the writing process.

  • Let’s be careful with the theories of space. My understanding of space was entangled with other elements such as social affordances and architecture. This will need to be addressed before reading the game centers of different eras.
  • Is Space Invaders representative of its era or an exceptional case? I might reconsider how I choose my case studies.
  • Should I interview people or not? No clear answer was suggested.
  • Finally, to what extend game centers are supported by the cool Japan campaign? This should be easy to figure out if I ask the right people.

I thoroughly appreciated the experience and I am grateful that my extended committee granted by a unanimous pass three minutes after the two hour-long debate. I am looking forward to start working on this project right after the holiday break and a well-deserved trip back to Quebec.

But for now, I’m off to watch Star Wars.



18 décembre: examen oral et début du projet de recherche

La date de mon examen oral fut fixée au 18 décembre cette semaine. Les derniers membres de mon comité de lecture vont prendre connaissance de mon projet de recherche sur les game center japonais sous peu, et je vais pouvoir commencer le processus de recherche pour ma thèse lorsque le tout sera terminé. Ce n’est que le début….

The Playing in Public Blog: Sutâto!

Hello World!


Welcome to my research blog dedicated to my PhD thesis project on game center culture. This blog is a way for me to make my research available to the larger scientific community, as well as fans of Japanese video game culture in general. Over the next few years, I will blog about the status of my research as well as any interesting things I come across during my PhD student years. This is a space dedicated to arcade game research; you may expect posts featuring certain games or texts that I find might be of interest.

This side project will start with a rerun of the blog posts I wrote for Kineblog, a community blog attached to the Kinephanos academic journal. Entries I wrote for this blog are a bit larger than regular blog posts and still seem to be relevant today, so I thought featuring them on this site would not be a bad idea. Expect material in both French and English (and maybe Japanese if I can muster the courage).

Stay tuned for the next few years as I attempt to unravel the fascinating world of Japanese video game arcades!