Sunday, February 21, 2010

"The world end with you", go consume

"The world ends with you" is a game by Square Enix, that was inspired by Japan's Shibuya's lively youth culture. Shibuya, as we already know from Kawamura's article, is one of the two hottest place to see street fashion, the other being Harajuko. What is really fascinating about this game is that it's a role playing game that's part sims. Being inspired by Shibuya's lively street fashion and culture, part of the game asks the player to collect pins in order to progress through the game. It's so interesting to see this circle of fashion come back to America. Kawamura's article discusses how Japan's fashion was portrayed as collared up suits, and how Japanese Youths lead the revolt against this identity. In the game, the youths become central characters to saving the world from imminent destruction, while being fashionable and stylish (IGN). Additionally, the game is centralized around themes such as"finding your identity, overcoming insecurity, teen angst, coping with guilt, the weight of obligation", I would also add consumption of products, because you have to buy pins, which allow you to fight better, in order to proceed through the game (IGN).

I think what fascinates me most about the game and Shibuya, is the fact it focuses on the lives of the teens in Shibuya. They're trend setters in these metropolitan cities, and they know that they are. Americans on the other hand, I feel completely lacks this organic formation of identity. I think part of the reason why America doesn't really have this unique organic fashion culture, is because we lack a central cohesive identity. Think about what image is conjured up when you think about the term American. Who appears? I think the fact that the person I think of as American is different from me. It's this "mutli-personality" disorder that I think has impeded Americans from forming our own unique fashion identity. How are we to form an identity when we as Americans haven't come to a centralized identity? I suppose we can accept the idea of a melting pot, but I don't believe this is an accurate reflection of America.

In terms of the compact challenge, I'm doing superb. I haven't bought anything since this quarter that has qualified as unnecessary. I almost bought an Ipod touch out of boredom, but I eventually decided it wasn't worth the cost, and returned it. I think putting that money towards new camera lenses is a much more better use of the money. Seeing how my camera is not a toy, it's a tool, one I use to take pictures with. One thing about the compact challenge that did help me, was to motivate me into taking more pictures and putting my tool to good use.


Class source: Kawamura, Yuniya. "Japanese Teens as Producers of Steet Fashion." Current Sociology. Davis: SAGE Productions, 2006. 784-801.

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