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This aforementioned discourse nevertheless underlies an assumption firmly rooted in video game studies and historical accounts of video games: it is as if the only manifestation of the Japanese video game industry had been made on a global level, while the specific development of the industry on the Japanese territory had never existed. Unfortunately, these assumptions tend to neglect the complex geopolitical and socioeconomic negotiations taking place on Japanese territory -- before, during, and even after the creation of a global media complex -- forming tangible distinctions between the Japanese and the North American (or European) market as each tries to divert and capture these flows. Despite alliances, collaborations and interdependencies that were played globally, many crucial events that were set on Japanese territory must be taken into consideration. The Japanese video game industry is both a global and local phenomenon, and the two aspects must be distinguished in order to avoid misinterpretations and omissions in histories of video games. After an historical overview of each of these sectors, the author concludes with some key consequences of the contribution of the Japanese video game industry on the industry as a whole. Keywords: Japan, history, industry, arcade, home console, PC, Geemu A common discourse about Japanese video games and the contribution of Japan to the video game industry as a whole is to tie them to the development of a global and hybrid industry. In the first fifteen years of the development of the video game industry in Japan (from 1973 to the late 1980s), we can witness the formation and the emergence of main features of geemu. Japanese video games, or geemu[4], are not linked to an ‘essence’ of any kinds (national, mediatic, etc.), but to a market, or rather to -- admittedly unstable and fluctuating -- markets[5].

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Then, the examination focus on the implementation of these three sectors in the Japanese video game industry, which have, each in their own way, deeply affected the evolution of video games, not only in Japan, but also in international markets. To better understand the complex development of the industry, we must reintroduce local considerations into global perspectives by examining the economic and cultural development of the video game industry in Japan in order to nuance and add new insights about global and transnational discourses. General knowledge about Japanese video games, coming usually both from historical books and video game studies in the West, as well as through the discourse of the specialized press and media, and online fan communities, is only one facet of the world of video games in Japan[1]. rightly asserted, the development of “digital play” was conducted jointly through a complex process in the three circuits of technology, culture, and marketing (Kline et al., 2003), we must acknowledge that the Japanese video game industry has its own process through these circuits, including of course its global and transnational aspect, but which constitutes only a part of the overall picture. Some major industrial sectors took part in the birth of the game industry, from amusement and consumer electronics industries to toy and television manufacturers.

The Japanese video game industry was not supported by the military-academic complex[8], or even initiated by start-ups, but rather developed from the outset by entertainment corporations and import/export businesses that were already well established in the consumptive post-war Japan.

Like Aoyama and Izushi already attested, the evolution of the Japanese video game market is linked to a specific economic and cultural context: We argue that the cross-sectoral transfer of skills occurs differently depending on national contexts, such as the social legitimacy and strength of preexisting industries, the socioeconomic status of entrepreneurs or pioneer firms in an emerging industry, and the sociocultural cohesiveness between the preexisting and emerging industries.