23rd Entertainment Division Critiques
Now is the Time to Create Space to Attract Culture and Creativity that Celebrate Diversity
I have taken part in the Japan Media Arts Festival's award ceremonies and award-winners' exhibitions in the past. While serving as a judge this year, however, I once again pondered the question, "What is culture? Or media? And art?" I am of the generation that grew up with manga and animation and so began creating video games. My early childhood was a time when manga became all the rage and many new manga magazines were launched. Subsequently, various animation series hit the screens on television and in film. Simultaneously, digital games moved from arcades to online, to PC's, home video consoles, and cell phones, among other portable devices. As technology evolved, media content became diversified as we entered current times. When we take a look back at all artistic genres, including literature, drama and video, we can imagine how ever-evolving media, like video games, are inherited by new generations who, along with new technologies of the time, develop them as innovative forms of entertainment and industry. I believe we can say that kabuki and ukiyo-e, in particular, are direct origins of manga, animation, and Japanese RPGs. Thanks to the dissemination of the internet, today we are able to share knowledge, technology, and tools as well as the creative know-how and outlets for showcasing work, regardless of region or culture. In this year's jury process, as well, I saw a large number of very distinctive works from around the world. When knowledge and technology are shared, individuality is what becomes important. Contrasting issues, such as diversity vs. individuality, global vs. local, colorful vs. monochromatic, as well as digital vs. analog, all merge to give birth to new ideas, technologies, and original works. Particularly in the categories of video games and web applications, their boundaries have become almost nonexistent. In the coming years, we will see these borders disappear at a faster pace in all areas. I believe that the space lying beyond current categories is indeed the arena that will attract new modes of entertainment. In this year's jury process, I was able to get a full sense of the pulse of entertainment for the new generation that exceeds our genres and cultures. I would like to renew my belief that Japan has an inviting culture that can accept diversity and evolve.