Mario vs. the Lich King: How Culture Affects American Consumers' Preferences for American or Japanese Video Games
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In order for the American video industry to continue to grow and attract more American and international consumers, it is vital to understand which attributes of video games are most important in determining consumers' purchasing choices, and it is equally important to know how cultural and social values contribute to these norms. My primary research goal is to determine which video games American consumers most often prefer, why do they prefer them, and what underlying cultural attributes affect these preferences. To answer these questions, I grounded my research in historical context, analyzed sales statistics from credible online resources, conducted two extensive surveys of American video game consumers, and used widely accepted theories about Japanese and American culture to interpret this information. I found that Americans prefer multiplayer games whereas Japanese players like single‐player games, and American consumers can be broken down into four overlapping categories with distinct preferences. From these results, I concluded that culture and social structures do affect consumers' video game preferences to a degree, and that American consumers can be further broken down based on gender and play style.