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video game

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Asian Americans are still rarely represented in video games — here are 10 of our favorite characters

Video games have become an integral part of many people’s lives. Impressive graphics and visuals, catharsis-inducing soundtracks and compelling storylines have slowly shifted the stigma surrounding the interactive medium from mind-rotting wastes of time to legitimate works of art. 

With the rising popularity and prevalence of Asian American characters in mainstream film and television, I wanted to highlight 10 Asian American video game characters to not only celebrate some of my favorites, but to also critique the severe lack of representation in video games. For this list, I focused strictly on characters who are identified in their respective games or franchises as American and represent a spectrum of Asian representation. Frankly, it’s a miracle I was able to come up with 10 characters at all.

Some ‘Axie Infinity’ players once made more money gaming than in their day jobs — but the bubble has burst

Axie Infinity

“Axie Infinity,” a blockchain-based video game with a “play-to-earn” model, continues to hemorrhage players due to diminishing returns. 

Developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, “Axie Infinity” has attracted a large player base in developing countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil and Venezuela due to its real-world earning potential. 

Japanese Kirby superfan flexes her massive collection of plushies

kirby fan
  • A Kirby superfan who goes by @0418_kirby_ on Twitter shared their impressive collection of hundreds of Kirby products that took about five years to grow.
  • Kirby recently became the second video game series to win a Grammy for Best Arrangement.

A Kirby superfan took to social media to share their passion for their favorite Nintendo character by showing off their massive collection of merchandise.

Kirby is a pink puffball infamous for his abundant appetite and cuteness. Fans first fell in love with Kirby from the Game Boy video game “Kirby’s Dreamland” in 1992. The character has been featured in over 23 games since, including the “Super Smash Bros.” video game series.  

Sadako from ‘The Ring’ joins survival horror game ‘Dead By Daylight’ shortly after becoming a YouTuber

sadako
  • Sadako Yamamura, the Japanese horror icon from the 1998 film “Ringu,” has been added to the roster of brutal killers in the online survival game “Dead by Daylight.”
  • “Dead by Daylight” dropped the official trailer for its “Sadako Rising” chapter on YouTube today.
  • Sadako previously launched her own official YouTube channel “貞子の井戸暮らし,” in which she displays her typical “teenage girl” sides, as part of a promotional campaign for the upcoming “Sadako DX” movie.
  • In her videos, she gives viewers a tour of her house and shares a clip of the time she threw her first pitch at a baseball game.

The multiplayer online survival game “Dead by Daylight” has introduced Japanese horror icon Sadako Yamamura in its latest chapter.

The game’s Chapter 23, “Sadako Rising,” is based on the 1998 Japanese horror film “Ringu.” Sadako joins an expanding roster of killers along with its latest survivor, Yoichi Asakawa, who is inspired by the character Yoko Asakawa, also from “Ringu.”

South Korean online game ‘Lost Ark’ shatters record on Steam with half a million concurrent players

lost ark
  • The South Korean online game “Lost Ark” does not officially launch in Western markets until Feb. 11, but it already broke a record when over 500,000 gamers played concurrently on Steam.
  • “Lost Ark” first launched in Korea in 2018, but a North American and European release wasn’t announced until June 2021 during Summer Games Fest.
  • Amazon Games will be publishing the “Diablo”-like massively multiplayer online action role-playing game (MMOARPG) in North America, Europe, Latin America and Oceania.
  • “Lost Ark” allows players to venture into the fictional fantasy world of Arkesia while vanquishing demons as one of 15 playable classes.
  • The Korean MMO is free-to-play and doesn’t fully make its debut until Friday, but players can get a head start by buying one of four Founder’s Packs.

The long-awaited South Korean online game “Lost Ark” does not officially launch in Western markets until Feb. 11, but it already broke a record when over 500,000 gamers played concurrently on Steam.

The game’s peak number of concurrent players is currently 532,476, landing in sixth place on video game distributor Steam’s all-time list following “New World,” “Cyberpunk 2077,” “Dota 2,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” IGN reported.

Shohei Ohtani makes history as first Asian athlete to grace front cover of US sports video game

ohtani mlb cover
  • Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani will grace the cover of video game “Major League Baseball: The Show 22.”
  • It marks the first time an Asian athlete has ever been featured on the cover of an American sports video game.
  • Ohtani’s “The Show” cover comes after a stellar performance throughout the 2021 season that saw him win the 2021 American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Shohei Ohtani, America’s favorite baseball player, is set to make history as the first Asian athlete in the U.S. to be featured on the cover of a video game. 

The 27-year-old baseball superstar, who has just completed a historic 2021 season, will be the cover star of the “MLB: The Show 22” video game, reported ESPN

New ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ English trailer reveals rideable Pokémon, real-time battles

Nintendo Pokemon Legend Arceus Trailer
  • “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” dropped an English-language trailer for its upcoming Nintendo Switch release on Jan. 28.
  • The trailer reveals a Hisui region setting featuring new Pokémon you can catch in real-time.

The highly anticipated Nintendo Switch game of the new year “Pokémon Legends: Arceus” dropped its latest trailer in English.

The trailer, which was uploaded on Jan. 10, reveals a new adventure across the “sprawling landscapes” of the fictional Hisui region, the ancient name for Sinnoh, where Pokémons “roam free, unbound by human connection.” 

Mario Kart announces its first-ever Southeast Asian city track

Mario Kart Singapore Tour
  • The mobile game “Mario Kart Tour” announced its first-ever Southeast Asia-based city race track called the “Singapore Speedway.”
  • The track’s debut also features a new Luigi skin and a Merlion-based kart.

“Mario Kart Tour” announced its latest race track “Singapore Speedway,” adding to its real-world locations the first Southeast Asian city course.

“Singapore Speedway,” which is based off Singapore’s capital, will allow players to race around Singapore Harbor. The track features views of the city’s statue of the mythical creature Merlion and an iconic area of skyscrapers, including the Marina Bay hotel and the Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel.

Japanese gamers place ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ at No. 1 on top 100 video games of all time list

Breath of the Wild Video Game

Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” was named by Japanese citizens as the best video game of all time, beating classics such as Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy VII.”

The best video game: The Nintendo Switch and Wii U title, released on March 3, 2017, topped the nationwide TV network poll by TV Asahi, which had 50,000 voters in total. 

Japanese ‘Apex Legends’ players are being banned for ‘hateful conduct’ for saying ‘run’

Apex Legends ban

Some gamers are allegedly being slapped with a “hate speech” ban for using their native, non-English languages while playing EA’s “Apex Legends.”

Wrongfully banned: Posting on r/KotakuInAction, a Reddit user recently shared a screenshot of the message one “Apex Legends” player received from EA in October, informing them about the reason behind their ban, according to Bounding Into Comics

Live-action ‘Mega Man’ movie being developed by Netflix

Mega Man Movie

Nearly a month after releasing their live-action adaptation of anime “Cowboy Bebop,” Netflix is reportedly developing a live-action film based on the “Mega Man” video game franchise.

What we know so far: A live-action adaptation of the classic Capcom video game was first reported in October 2018, but Netflix was not part of that announcement. At the time, the movie was attached to Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, with directing duo Henry Joost and Rel Schulman listed as the film’s writers and directors.