Study Abroad in Japan

Technology and Culture: Communication and Games
Study abroad opportunity in Japan!
Annual program running for 17 days the first full week in May (e.g., Monday, May 6)

Course Description/Objectives:

Hosted in Japan, this course offers students a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between culture and technology use in the context of Japanese communication and gaming. Industry site visits will provide previews of emerging services and games and the requisite market research. Companies recruited for the site visits include mobile phone service providers, game developers, and broadcasting facilities. Arguably, the most exciting part of the course will be an extensive series of field trips to historic Japanese sites. Lastly, to optimize our students´┐Ż experience, Japanese language lessons and social events will be organized.
The four thematic areas of this course are:

  1. Technology: Wireless; Mobile Devices; Next-Gen Game Consoles; Emerging technology.
  2. Culture: Perspectives and dimensions of culture; Individual traits; Societal norms; Language.
  3. Communication: Computer-Mediated Communication; Online Identities; Relating Online.
  4. Games: Game Development; Game Markets; Mobile Games; Games and Society.

Course Costs:

  1. Program fees (includes two weeks of accommodations): Estimated at $2,000
  2. Not included: Tuition fees (6 credits)
  3. Not included: Air fare – Detroit to Tokyo: ~$900 (fares have ranged from $650-1,200)
  4. Not included: Most Meals (~$300), high-speed rail pass (~$300), spending money (~$500)

Course Format:

  • Prior to departure:
    5 class sessions from 6-9 p.m. or equivalent
    E.g. Thursdays in April; subject to enrolled students’ schedules
  • Depart from Detroit on Monday, May 10
  • Arrive in Tokyo (Base 1 – Hotel Asia Center of Japan), Japan, on Tuesday, May 11
  • Company site visits: Wednesday-Friday, May 12-14
  • Cultural trips: Saturday & Sunday, May 15-16
  • Transfer to Osaka (Base 2 Hotel Hearton Shinsaibashi), Japan, on Sunday, May 16
  • Cultural trips: Monday-Thursday, May 17-20
    (Hikone, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Yokohama, Asakusa – optional: Nagoya, Fuji)
  • Transfer back to Tokyo (Base 1 hotel), Japan, on Thursday night, May 20,
  • Company site visits: Friday, May 21
  • Free time: Saturday & Sunday, May 22-23
  • University visits and research: Monday-Wednesday, May 24-26
  • Free evenings
  • Depart May 27 – assistance with alternative accommodations may be arranged for an earlier/later arrival/departure.

Course Outline:

Dates

Class

Topic

April

0

Classroom sessions @ MSU (~17 hours)

May 12

1-2-3

Company Site Visits 1 & 2 & 3(TBD)

May 13

4-5-6

Company Site Visits 4 & 5 & 6(TBD)

May 14

7-8-9

Company Site Visits 7 & 8 & 9 (TBD)

May 15-16

10

Cultural activities in Tokyo, Asakusa

May 17

11

Cultural Trip: Hikone, Nara, Kyoto

May 18

12

Cultural Trip: Osaka, Kyoto

May 19

13

Cultural Trip: Hiroshima, Miyajima

May 20

14

Cultural Trip: Osaka

May 21

15-16-17

Company site visits: 10 & 11 & 12

May 22-23

18

Free time

May 24-26

University visits and research

May 27

Depart Tokyo

Course Materials

Optional textbook: Wood, A.F., and Smith, M.J. (2005) Online Communication: Linking Technology, Identity, and Culture, 2nd Edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Grading for Course 1 (4 credits) – TC491/891

  • Participation: 30 %
  • Blogging Assignment: 50 %
  • Technology Review: 20 %

Grading for Course 2 (2 credits) – TC490/890

  • Research: 50 %
  • Project option (Web, Video, Paper): 50 % (due on June 16, 2010)