Online gaming: The transnationalization nexus seen in the case of Vietnam
This research explored the transnational experience extracted from the online gaming culture of Vietnam seen from three perspectives: the players, the Vietnamese game companies, and the state. The main concept that plays the role of the umbrella embracing the whole research is transnationalization, which could be seen in the case of video games as a process that consists of internal and external factors. The internal elements could be grasped through the interaction between players of one country and the video games designed and released by another country’s developers. This contact has allowed players to perceive a new format of entertainment and a new change of consumption habit, as well as to shape their own gaming culture. Online games companies, including the developing units and the distributing firms, manifest the external elements of transnationalization. Those enterprises have transnationalized through the exchange of people (staffs), new business models and financing systems, the developing process, and especially the localization process. This study also examines the role of the state in managing and controlling the circulation and operation of online games in Vietnam. The socialist-oriented market economy and its internal ambivalence let the management framework applied to online games in this communist country fall between two poles of tight and loose at the same time. This is the condition to nurture the attitude of reluctance that the state possesses, which is the contradiction between the ideology (communism) and the grip on power that the party-state wants to preserve, and the open economy, which is considered a product of capitalism.
PhD defended at
National University of Singapore