BCM 215

Week 8 Blog Post

In this blog post, we will discuss a component of Raessens’ ‘technique of participation’ framework – ‘Connectivity’, (which links players with each other via the internet over a range of distances); and also according to Raessens, a ‘type of participation’, which he labels ‘Reconfiguration’, (the player’s actions over the elements that constitute the game). We will consider too, the concept of ‘hegemony’, (the leadership or dominance of one group over another), all with reference to the video game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (MK8D).

According to blogger Thomas Morgan, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe focuses mainly on bolstering the multiplayer elements of the title.” (Morgan, 2017) There are four different game modes offered to players to play in different environments, such as single-player mode, multiplayer mode, online play mode and wireless play mode.

The single-player mode is for players to play against a computer. They can play anytime and practise with different vehicles and tracks. They can play on a console or connect to a larger screen. The multiplayer mode allows friends to play by sharing a device at the same location. Up to four players can connect to a larger screen and play via a split-screen using Joy-Con. The online play mode is for two players in different locations. They can connect and play against each other even if they are connected to different Wi-Fi networks. To use this function, both players must subscribe to Nintendo Online. The wireless play mode is for two players at the same location to play against each other by using separate Switch devices.

Raessens’, ‘Reconfiguration’, applies to MK8D also. The game will randomly provide different items to help players receive advantages and better positions in the race. After players obtain the item, the item box will disappear and reappear after a short time for other players to use it. Using MK8D’s Rainbow Road in Triforce Cup as an example, there are only three locations where the game provides the item boxes, the first turn, the third turn, and the sixth turn, but once players have accessed the item box, it will reappear within five seconds for the player or other players to use.

According to game blogger Chloe Prince, (2020), Redex’s latest research reveals that MK8D is the most popular game in the Mario Franchise. In Japan, companies sell Mario souvenirs or have Mario in their product to attract tourists to buy. A Tokyo tourism company even provided overseas tourists who have international licenses with go-karts to drive on the road dressed as their favourite Mario character. The route traversed Tokyo’s most famous landmarks, such as Tokyo Tower. This activity attracted thousands of avid Mario fans from all over the world. It also promoted Japan and of course promoted the game franchise.

Japan leads video game industry, and the Mario franchise leads the video game world in popularity. This is Japanese, ‘soft power’ hegemony and is so financially lucrative it’s promoted by a Japanese Government Department entitled Cool Japan. Cool Japan has its own TV show and seeks to promote this soft power hegemony, so consumers will buy Japanese products, learn about and embrace Japanese culture and visit the country itself. 

So, analysing MK8D through the concepts of Connectivity, Reconfiguration, and hegemony can give us a greater understanding and appreciation of the game and its influences.

Morgan, T 2017, ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: a great console title is a handheld revelation’, EUROGAMER, 20 April, viewed 12 October 2021, <https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-mario-kart-8-deluxe-tech-analysis&gt;

Prince, C 2020, ‘Data Reveals Mario Kart 8 Deluxe As The Most Popular game In The Franchise’, THEGAMER, 28 November, viewed 15 October 2021, <https://www.thegamer.com/data-reveals-mario-kart-8-deluxe-most-popular-game-in-franchise/&gt;

2 thoughts on “BCM 215

  1. Hi Adrian! I think this is a great idea! I like the way you have included a podcast in your pitch video, it allows the reader to see what you are going to produce. The way you have formatted your post is very clear and concise. Your video is also very eye catching with images that match what is being said. The sources you have linked seem to be very useful for your topic. The only note I have for you is to have a think about what your analytical frame is, and implement it for the beta. It will help you with your research process. Otherwise I think your pitch is very good and I am excited to see how your project goes.

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  2. Hi! I was a little confused as to which post was your actual pitch, the use of categories or something on your blog might help your audience to navigate through your posts a little easier. I liked how creative and detailed your video was and how you are planning an inclusive DA Project. I also think it is incredibly relevant how you have included COVID-19 in your post and isolation. I do enjoy all the statistics that you have placed in your post although I think maybe you could have provided a visual image or something to show a detailed explanation of the timeline of your project. I’m excited to see this project develop!

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