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Games of the World

Documenting the entire planet's history of video games, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

In this section of HG101 we hope to cover as many different videogame scenes from around the world as possible. The information is provided by people from these areas. It reflects their own opinions, and is not necessarily representative of an entire country. The swf for the map is taken from DIY Map.


Powered by DIY Map. The countries on the map are color coded. Red means there is only one short text or some images, and the more content is added, the closer the color
will go towards green. In cases where we got no content specifically about a country's gaming culture but regular articles on games created there, the color is a lighter grey.


October 2012

Our main feature this time is a report about the games industry in Malaysia, translated from an original article in the German mag IGM, just in time to tie in with our coverage of Ghoul Patrol, which was partially developed in that country. The article's main focus, however, is the current state of the industry and the developer E-One Studio, who recently had the first episode of its point-and-click adventure Hoodwink published.

Additionally, we got a photo stretch showing two arcades in Pyongyang, contributed by Mike Koz, as well as a few summaries of 1997 Asian gaming expo coverage by the South Korean industry paper Amuse World with black&white photos, including the AAMA's India Expo and the Taipei Internet & Games Grand Show in Taiwan.

- derboo

June 2012

So this page has been lying bare for a long, long time now, but that doesn't mean we ever stopped documenting gaming tidbits from around the planet. There have been new blog posts every once in a while, like most recently a cool photo from an "arcade" in Thailand, or some time ago the history of video game magazines in Croatia and a bit on 80s/90s home computers in Iraq. And let's not forget our latest podcast, where the inimitable Audun Sorlie educates our head editor in gaming cultures around Europe. We also have a few more external links, while others have unfortunately disappeared since the last update (though some are preserved thanks to the Internet Archive).

But we got some new(ly posted) on-site content as well, reprinting a massive feature on TecToy from Brazil that originally appeared in Retro Gamer (UK), and information about three PS2 games that were produced exclusively for Ireland, though actually programmed by an Australian developer. They're all based on the island's national sports, Gaelic Football and Hurling.

Finally, we gave this very page here a thorough overhaul, with a more easily distinguishable layout and a neat little map, which not only serves as a document of how much of the world we've covered so far, but also contains direct links to the individual countries' sections. Dragging the mouse here zooms in on certain areas, clicking a country zooms in on its shape and reveals the link. You can zoom back out either with the link at the bottom right, or click on the map with the right mouse button and select "Zoom Out!" The downside is that you need to have Flash installed and activated for it to work.

- derboo

November 2010

Apologies for the delay in updating - when starting this section I didn't realise the amount of work needed for coding up all the HTML. Furthermore, the new section didn't seem to generate much interest from readers.

We've only one new on-site addition, which is a 6 page PDF article on gaming in China courtesy of PiQ magazine. I'm sure you'll agree it was worth the wait. The rest of this update is actually linking to other articles found online over the past few months. Most are old, but I wanted GOTW to be a source of reference for all such information. The following are all EXTERNAL. There's Keving Gifford's Mag Weaseling piece on Russian magazines. A fascinating link on the history of Poland's C64 scene during the 80s and 90s. A link to TIGSource's entry on Chinese doujin RPG Rainblood: Town of Death, which I really should have linked to back in June. I'm going to get flak for linking to them, but Kotaku says consoles are banned in China. Also, Vietnam regulates online gaming, which is such an old news report, there's probably been a follow-up since then. As for HG101's blog, we've had numerous Korean entries by our international man of mystery Derboo - far too many to list individually. So instead here's a search of recent Korean entries.

And finally, I want to talk about Tim Hull's website, Global Timoto, which covers not videogames, but games in general from around the world. Tim was formerly of British game developor M4, which developed Resident Evil Gaiden, he was also a co-founder of TIGA. Currently he's riding his motorbike around the world, covering the various games people play in different countries. This is a truly magnificent website full of photos and videos, which I feel is very much in the same spirit as GOTW. Whether it's a board game in Saharan Africa or children building their own bamboo toy cars to race, every entry is fascinating and details with sincerity aspects of life in foreign countries; it does a fine job of documenting human 'play culture' from around the around and is part of a worthwhile registered charity. Although it's not about videogames, I like to think that anyone who enjoys this GOTW page, will find much to marvel at on Tim's website. It really is something quite special.

- John "Sketcz" Szczepaniak

June 2010

Welcome to another update. We can finally unveil the first part of derboo's History of Korea. Although a little daunting, what with so much information and imagery, please take the time to sample some of it. As gaming progresses onwards, this slice of history is in danger of being forgotten.

Next we've got a lengthy Q&A session with two gamers from Russia, Alex and Fabien, which gives a fascinating explanation of English-loanwords in Russia. Despite having native words for RPG terms like quest, mage, and so on, which are derived from medieval Russian folklore, localised games continue to use foreign vocabulary - which is now commonly accepted.

I've also added a short page on Lithuania, with links to a local developer. Plus there's the first instalment of stuff on Brazil and Tec Toy (the biggest ever feature on Tec Toy themselves is due for the future). And finally, there's a brief entry on Scotland -while unbeknownst to many, Scotland has contributed quite a bit to the gaming world. Oh, and I added a Congo gallery page, and an entry for China, linking to our fan-translation article which covers Chinese RPGs.

- John "Sketcz" Szczepaniak

May 2010

I first covered foreign gaming sometime around 2005, when a forum post I made on videogame scenes in Africa and the Middle East caught the interest of GamesTM's then Retro Editor Darran Jones. He asked if I could double the number of entries in order to run it as a printed feature. I did this, which started my long and sometimes arduous journey as a games journalist. When I started freelancing for Retro Gamer, then under Live Publishing, I pitched a regular column called Global Gaming.

Viewing comments from people across the internet, it appears there's still a strong interest in what our cousins in far-flung places of the world are playing. For a long time Insert Credit covered Korean gaming, and there were foreign pieces on websites like WayoftheRodent and people's blogs. But there's never been anything dedicated specifically to Games of the World.

Some of the content here is my leftover notes, some of it is stuff found elsewhere on the internet, and some of it - such as derboo's Korean coverage - has been researched specifically for HG101. With it already being the second decade of the millenium, my big question is: what were a lot of these countries like in the 1980s and 1990s? If we don't document them now, pieces of gaming history will be lost forever.

- John "Sketcz" Szczepaniak

Hoodwink, a game made in Malaysia

Video game history in the making (TecToy and Sega)

A shocking encounter in the Philippines

A russian famiclone magazine


Countries of the World

AUSTRALIA

Images from Australia
Random images from Australia by Gabe McGrath - a variety of arcades, plus the Dick Smith Wizzard!

Games from this Region:

Dog Day / Dustforce / Flight of the Amazon Queen / Samurai Warrior: The Battles of Usagi Yojimbo / Shadowrun (SNES)

BRAZIL

Upscale Brazil
The supremacy of Sega's Master System, the need to play RPGs with an English-Portuguese dictionary, plus some exclusive games based on Brazilian comics.

TecToy
The story of TecToy, the company that led Sega's consoles to great success in Brazil.

Games in the Favela
A fascinating Way of the Rodent article by Romanista, looking at how street violence and videogames exist side-by-side in Brazil's poorest shantytowns. "It's City Of God with videogames in it," as he puts it.

CANADA

Games from this Region:

Super Time Force / Urban Yeti

CHINA

The Yin and Yang of Chinese gaming
A fascinatting 6 page article by Derrick Sobodash on videogames in China, for the now sadly defunct PiQ magazine. Article is in PDF format, and we were given permission by both Derrick and PiQ's Kevin Gifford to make it freely available. Essential reading.

Fan-translations and Chinese RPGs
Part 3 of HG101's article on fan-translations focuses on Chinese RPGs, with coverage of Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan (aka: Chinese Paladin: The Legend of Sword and Fairy), its TV dramatisation, plus Heroine Anthem: The Elect of Wassernixie and more.

Exploring Chinese Game Boy Games (blog)
A close-up look at the Chinese cartridge and packaging of Mega Man II.

Kotaku says China bans consoles
Kotaku has an interesting (albeit poorly researched) feature on why consoles are apparently banned in China. As pointed out by several comments after the feature, it's actually something of a misconception. But I still found the entry interesting enough to warrant listing it here (and they've got some nice pics taken from HERE).

Rainblood: Town of Death
A Chinese doujin RPG, as reported by TIGSource back in June. There are other websites and forums which cover the game, but TIGS gives a concise overview. I'm sure you'll agree, the game looks gorgeous.

That time we can never return to: Special 80s issue
A series of illustrations with the basic theme "an 80s childhood in China," including some video game related drawings.

CONGO (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC)

Images from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Just one image, taken from Flickr - more to follow.

CROATIA

History of video game mags in Croatia (blog)
Lots of information about Croatian magazines courtesy of forum user mpx. Also includes a quick look at game developers in Croatia today.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Games from this Region:

Machinarium

DENMARK

Games from this Region:

Zyrinx games

EGYPT

Videogames of Cairo (blog)
An HG101 blog entry documenting the videogame scene in Cairo, circa January 2010. Strong retro focus, with direct links to Youtube videos shot in Cairo's markets.

FRANCE

French games magazines (blog)
An HG101 blog entriy covering France's diverse selection of videogame magazines, including two dedicated solely to RPGs. We also have two more posts looking at individual issues of the retro mag IG.

French retro stores (blog)
A follow-up entry looking at one of France's retro stores.

Multilingual PS3 games (blog)
An HG101 blog entry on why the French and European versions of Heavy Rain and other PS3 games are multilingual, whereas the UK versions are intentionally cut.

Hardcore Gaming 101 Podcast Episode 7
Hardcore Gaming 101's editor in chief Kurt Kalata and Audun Sorlie discuss the history of gaming in Europe, with a slight focus on France.

Games from this Region:

Alone in the Dark / Another World / Asterix / Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet / Delphine Adventure Games / Eternam / Fascination / Flashback / Gray Matter / Heart of Darkness / Jim Power / KGB / Little Big Adventure / Lost in Time / Mission Impossible (1998) / No Exit / Nowhere / Obscure / Pilgrim: Faith as a Weapon

FINLAND

Games from this Region:

Stardust

GERMANY

Old German gaming Mags: Total! and Video Games (blog)
Leafing through some of Germany's most popular gaming magazines of the 1990s.

A look at some recent German gaming mags (blog)
A follow-up to the former, now looking at the latest (in July 2011) issues of magazines that are still running.

Video Spiele and Computer Spiele (blog)
Reviews of some of West Germany's oldest monographs about games.

About Telespiele (blog)
Introducing what might just be the world's first interactive video game TV show.

A Serious Game: Generation Zero (blog)
About Reality Twist's (Munich) fight against the German ban on swastika display in games as a (supposedly) inherently non-artistic, non-educational medium.

Werner: Asphaltbrenner (blog)
About the games based on Germany's most popular indigenious comic book series, some of them unreleased.

Games from this Region:

Chambers of Shaolin / Gunlord / Lionhead / Iridion 2 / Realms of Arkania / Rendering Ranger / Secret Files / Simon the Sorcerer (4 & 5) / Traps 'n' Treasures / Turrican

HUNGARY

Games from this Region:

Kolibri

INDIA

Images from India
Selection of images relating to India, including makeshift arcades, a PS2 room, and the fabled, unreleased version of Clayfighters on the PS1.

AAMA India Expo 1997
Several photos and a bit of info from the American Amusement Machine Association's event in New Deli.

INDONESIA

Digital Happiness
Interview with the developer of the survival horror game Dreadout.

Games from this Region:

DreadOut

IRAN

MSX gaming in Iran
A personal account from Amir Asghari (aka: KidEinstein) on life and gaming in Iran during the war with Iraq. Now resident in Sweden, he has fond recollections of Metal Gear.

IRAQ

History of computers in Iraq (blog)
Salwan Asaad repots about the computing scene of the 1980s and '90s.

IRELAND

Gaelic Games - Ireland's Exclusive PS2 Titles
Info about three PS2 titles that only Ireland got, based on their national sports.

ITALY

Games from this Region:

Pray for Death (Your Weekly Kusoge) / Stay Dead (500-Word Indies)

JAPAN

Japan on the HG101 blog
A search for all the blog entries where the posters felt the urge to put explicit "Japan" tag. Of course, half of the entire blog is more or less Japan-related.

Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier
A thorough introduction to Japanese home computers. Originally written for Retro Gamer by John Szczepaniak, it has since been thoroughly amended and expanded by kobushi.

Japanese Artwork of Western Games
A gallery of cover changes for Western games brought to Japan throughout the ages.

East vs. West
Capcom's Keiji Inafune and Hiroyuki Kobayashi muse on the differences between Japanese and American gaming audiences and industries.

KOREA (NORTH)

The other Korea: Gaming in the North
A special subsection in our History of Korean Gaming collects various accounts of video game playing - and development - in one of the most seclusive countries of our time.

Arcades in Pyongyang
A photo stretch from a bowling alley and a diplomatic club lounge in North Korea's capital, both of which house a number of arcade machines

Games from this Region:

Pyongyang Racer

KOREA (SOUTH)

A History of Korean Gaming
It's taken a while, but HG101 is proud to introduce derboo's gargantuan effort to document absolutely everything about Korea's history of videogames. There's interview snippets, a hardware glossary, a crazy-long index of exclusive games, and more screenshots than you will ever find on the internet. Incredible.

Blog entries on Hardcore Gaming 101
Label searches for countless tidbits about the Korean scene on the HG101 blog.

Jim Rossignol in Korea
A fascinating examination of modern Korean gaming, which goes way bayond Starcraft. Essential reading.

Games from this Region:

Bubble Ring Fling / Electronic Popple / Eojjeonji... Jeonyeok / Homura / Infinite Stairs / Ultra Balloon

KUWAIT

Yousef's Kuwait (Wayback Machine)
A fascinating blog detailing life and videogames in Kuwait. Lots and lots of entries, including one on the local GameStop franchise, and an entire database dedicated to arcade culture, with an emphasis on beat-em-ups.

Lebanon

Games from this Region:

Special Force 2: Tale of the Truthful Pledge

LITHUANIA

First to independence
The story of a young Lithuanian gamer, as he witnessed his country's independence from Soviet rule in the 1990s.

MALAYSIA

Computers and Tea
Mark Wong describes the rise in popularity of computers in Malaysia, and why arcade winners prefer to celebrate with a nice cup of tea.

Made in Malaysia - Game production in the tropics
A report on the Malaysian game industry, courtesy of International Games Magazine.

Games from this Region:

Ghoul Patrol

NORWAY

Games from this Region:

The Longest Journey

PAKISTAN

Images from Pakistan
Currently just one image - that of an arcade. More to follow.

PHILIPPINES

Gaming in the Malls of the Philippines
A look at arcade culture, bootleg machines, legitimate shops, and an arcade game where a giant gorilla tries to electrocute you.

POLAND

Waldemar, King of All Polish Game Pirates
An examination of Poland's C64 history, featuring an interview with Waldemar Czajkowski, Poland's biggest distributor of C64 cassettes during the 1980s and 90s. Sourced from Magweasel. In case the site goes down, here's One Photo, and Another Photo.

Games from this Region:

Blockout / Electro Man / Franko: The Crazy Revenge / Teenagent

RUSSIA

Chasing the Gorbunok
Sergei Servianov's essay on his childhood in Russia, including games based on Russian folklore.

Two men from Moscow
Interview covering early Soviet arcades, the Dendy, ZX Spectrum clones and, rather sadly, the abandonment of Russian folklore in favour of a more western vocabulary.

Russian magazines
Kevin Gifford has acquired a collection of Russian Dendy magazine scans, giving a fascinating report on the history of Russian Dendy clones and magazines. He also reveals the origin's of the Dendy elephant mascot.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines
In Soviet Russia, coin inserts you.

Games from this Region:

Pathologic

SAUDI ARABIA

The Persian Gulf
An essay by Soliman AlWahid on growing up in Saudi Arabia.

First Gaming Convention in Saudi Arabia
A report by forum poster Ace Whatever from the men-only True Gaming Expo in Riyadh.

SOUTH AFRICA

Christmas in South Africa
An article reprinted with permission from The Escapist, on Christmas and games in South Africa during the early 1990s.

Reggies Entertainment System - South African TV advert (blog)
View the TV commercial for South Africa's no. 1 Famicom clone.

SPAIN

Games from this Region:

Afteroids / Clive Barker's Jericho / Desperado / Runaway

TAIWAN

Taiwanese / Chinese game mini-marathon
A HG101 forum thread where we introduce and talk about various games from Taiwan and China (but mostly Taiwan)

Insert Credit Feature: Taipei Game Show (Wayback Machine)
A massive report by Insert Credit for the 2003 Taipei Game Show. Almost a decade old, but still a glorious thing to behold, if only because no one else dared cover such a thing in the West.

1997 Taipei Internet & Games Grand Show Some black&white photos and bits of info from the grandfather of the Taipei Game Show

Games from this Region:

Huang Di: Zhuolu zhi Zhan / Martial Masters

THAILAND

An "Arcade" in Thailand
Reported on the blog, a view at a arcade-esque console setup in Thailand, photographed by Charlie Maib.

UNITED KINGDOM

SCOTLAND

Heavy Hitters
Scotland isn't all haggis and kilts - they're responsible for some of the world's most important videogames too!

Games from this Region:

Body Harvest / Lemmings / Unirally

VIETNAM

Vietnam regulates online gaming
GamePolitics back in June 2010 reported on some strict measures by the Vietnamese government regarding online gaming.

Yet to come:

Afghanistan / Albania / Algeria / Andorra / Angola / Argentina / Armenia / Austria / Azerbaijan / Bahamas / Bahrain / Bangladesh / Barbados / Belarus / Belgium / Belize / Benin / Bhutan / Bolivia / Bosnia Herz / Botswana / Brunei / Bulgaria / Burkina / Burma / Burundi / Cambodia / Cameroon / Cape Verde / Cent Afr Rep / Chad / Chile / Colombia / Comoros / Costa Rica / Cuba / Cyprus / Djibouti / Dominica / Dominican Rep / East Timor / Ecuador / El Salvador / Equat Guinea / Eritrea / Estonia / Ethiopia / Fiji / Gabon / Gambia / Georgia / Ghana / Greece / Grenada / Guatemala / Guinea / Guinea-Bissau / Guyana / Haiti / Honduras / Iceland / Israel / Ivory Coast / Jamaica / Jordan / Kazakhstan / Kenya / Kiribati / Kosovo / Kyrgyzstan / Laos / Latvia / Lesotho / Liberia / Libya / Liechtenstein / Luxembourg / Macedonia / Madagascar / Malawi / Maldives / Mali / Malta / Marshall Isl / Mauritania / Mauritius / Mexico / Micronesia / Moldova / Monaco / Mongolia / Montenegro / Morocco / Mozambique / Namibia / Nauru / Nepal / Netherlands / New Zealand / Nicaragua / Niger / Nigeria / Oman / Palau / Palestine / Panama / PN Guinea / Paraguay / Peru / Portugal / Qatar / Romania / Rwanda / Samoa / San Marino / Senegal / Serbia / Seychelles / Sierra Leone / Singapore / Slovakia / Slovenia / Solomon Islands / Somalia / Sri Lanka / Sudan / Suriname / Swaziland / Sweden / Switzerland / Syria / Tajikistan / Tanzania / Togo / Tonga / Trinidad / Tunisia / Turkey / Turkmenistan / Tuvalu / Uganda / Ukraine / Utd Arab Emirates / United States / Uruguay / Uzbekistan / Vanuatu / Vatican City / Venezuela / Yemen / Zambia / Zimbabwe

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