One-Upping the Competition: How Nintendo Built Its Cultural Hegemony

An academic analysis of Nintendo and why they’re awesome.

This is an academic paper I wrote for Professor Kenneth Pyle’s ‘The Emergence of Postwar Japan’ class at the University of Washington. It explores capitalism, technology, and history to understand how Nintendo came to power and maintain its cultural dominance in the gaming space. The paper was a lot of fun writing, and I thought someone else might enjoy reading it. Oh and by the way, I just got to write about Nintendo for school.

One-Upping the Competition:
How Nintendo Built Its Cultural Hegemony

Love them or hate them, play them or watch them, video games have permeated the world. Whether on mobile phones on the bus ride to work, movie adaptations during the summer blockbuster season, or e-sports taking timeslots on cable TV[1], games in some form or another pervade our lives and are daily unavoidable. Regardless of one’s opinion, the industry’s astronomical rise to the mainstream in such a short time warrants close consideration. Like most entertainment, the video game industry is merciless, and in its short history has witnessed the rise and fall of countless companies, mascots, and personalities. One company, however, has traversed this precarious minefield of unforgiving investors and volatile consumer bases where so many others have failed. Nintendo dominates the competition and is ubiquitous with gaming in ways no other company can dream of. Nintendo plays with power. Continue reading “One-Upping the Competition: How Nintendo Built Its Cultural Hegemony”