University of Calgary

Publications - 2022


Harmonized Dissonance: Parodies of Japan’s America in EarthBound

Whaley, Ben in Rachael Hutchinson and Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon Japanese Role-Playing Games: Genre, Representation and Liminality in the JRPG

Ben Whaley considers the adaptation of parodic elements of the representation of the United States of America in EarthBound (Ape Inc., 1995). In particular, he addresses the implications of the localization of the Happy Happyist cult as a reference to the Ku Klux Klan racist organization, part of the assemblage of elements that designer Itoi Shigesato included in the game. This instance of ‘harmonized dissonance’ confronts the player through a case study in which adaptation does not completely ‘overwrite problematic nuances of the original parody’, generating discomfort in the midst of otherwise whimsical farce.


Teaching Japanese Video Games: Practical Strategies for Analysis and Assessment

Whaley, Ben in Tison Pugh and Lynn Ramey Teaching Games and Game Studies in the Literature Classroom

This chapter details the ways in which second language instruction can be enhanced by tapping into cultural cues in target-language video games from Japan. The availability of games from cultures around the world offers a new tool for classes that teach global understanding.

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