Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Japan, the West, and Videogames

For roughly 5 years now, the Japanese gaming industry has been experiencing a decline in its overall share of the video games industry worldwide. Numerous developers, creators, and directors have weighed in on this trend, including Tomonobu Itagaki who laid the blame on Japan's 'humorlessness.'

Bear in mind that the most iconic stars of the video game universe are still predominantly Japanese: Mario, Link, Sonic to name a few. But the last decade has seen a seismic shift in the buying patterns of consumers all over the globe. At the turn of the century, the pattern of demand was inverted, with Japanese games being highly demanded in the west, while western efforts, or gaika, went largely ignored in Japan. But much is being made today of Japan's shrinking presence in western consumption habits, even as the video game industry as a whole grows exponentially. And, while Mr. Itagaki is entitled to his opinion, it seems to me Japan has always been a niche market in the west.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. This is truly shocking. Despite fully supporting a rehabilitation-focused reset of the American prison system, my monocle almost fell out when I read this article. And yet, all statistics indicate that the system works, at least better than in America.
  2. Radiation 'weather' in Germany. Via Infosthetics.
  3. A surprisingly poignant obituary for Amy Winehouse by Russell Brand.
  4. It's looking increasingly grim for the American economy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Pink and Blue as gendered colors is more recent than you think.
  2. We all know it's bad. Still, the graph manages to shock. Via The Browser.
  3. Bill Maher not pulling any punches
  4. Beautiful animation of one soccer player's recounting of New York's 1977 black out and attendant riots. Via Gizmodo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Weird writing habits of famous authors.
  2. The International Community is dragging its feet for food aid to North Korea.
  3. Star Trek, here we come. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. Our innate cooperativeness. Via The Browser.


In Barbara Ehrenreich's new introduction to her book, Blood Rites, she hints at a comprehensive understanding of human social organization based on the technologies we use for war. This piqued our interest here at BofHam so we decided to dig a little deeper by applying this theory to some case studies. What did we find? A sexy framework for social organization but, as with anything relating to human society and development, a few too many variables that we can't control. But sexy! We love us some sexy.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Producer surplus case study.
  2. Great infographic about the work we put in for taxes
  3. Food shortages in North Korea and the politics played with aid.
  4. Forestalling 'harrassment' with nuclear weapons.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. NKEconWatch on North Korea's housing initiatives. The degree of attention this blog lavishes on the details is astounding.
  2. More people voting with their feet. Times must be getting tough in the Hermit Kingdom.
  3. North Korea's entrepreneurship abroad.
  4. Beautiful, interactive infographic charting population movement around the world. (Although their data shows no movement from North to South Korea.) Via Infosthetics.
  5. The Year of Wonders. Via The Browser.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Time to return from whence we came. There will be a short hiatus in your regularly scheduled programming. Please check back in around July 7th.


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Funny organizational charts. Makes me shudder at the memory of having to make these for my old employer. Nowhere is a company's self-deception more apparent than in their organizational charts.
  2. Propaganda art is hilarious. (Am I the only one who thinks so?)
  3. The circus of Russian politics.
  4. Google famously subscribes to it's "Don't be evil" mantra of its founder. Where do our morals lie though, when it comes to a trade-off between privacy and evil
  5. Painting with salt. Via The Awesomer.
  6. An excellent article describing the inescapable corruption that accompanies even the most well-intentioned designs. Similar stuff to our previous link to over-counting graves. Whiiiiiiiich...I can't find. I think I should probably rethink my organization here. 

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Falling RD in the pharma sector. Via Marginal Revolution.
  2. Sexy revolutionary activity in North Korea. Via Gawker.
  3. Scary portents of further famine in North Korea.
  4. Here's hoping this never leaves the internet. It is too powerful, too right, too important to be consigned to a $12.95 book.
  5. Here's one way to spice up baseball. Via The Awesomer.