Should the Council State fund Gaming and Animation Industries? (Pt. II of II)

The Council State can and should fund its emerging Gaming and Animation Industries when possible. The Totality will thank the People’s Party and the United Front later for making that decision. Back in Part I, I stated that one of the justifications for the Video Gaming Industry (not to be mistaken with that other Industry associated with casino gambling) involved continuing to pioneer Machinima the Artform. It would entail the development of a solid gaming engine flexible and accessible to allow developers to create a variety of titles and facilitate modifications. Ideally, the engine and its assets should be designed to allow anyone with basic familiarity of video games to develop Machinima from their own Household on a gaming-related Social Forum in the National Intranet.

The Artform is not dead yet. It may seem like that, but that is partly because the Technology has become harder and less accessible for anyone to further develop the Artform. Another issue pertains to the Artform’s apparent inability to create any economic livelihood, which I believe is part of a problem inherently related to the digital realm in general and not just the Artform itself.

Everything that I have said about the Artform in Part I is also applicable to the Animation Industry, the topic of the second half of this post. The Council State, regardless of whether the Work-Standard has been adopted beyond its borders, will discover that its youth may be developing an interest in Japanese Anime, Mangas, and Light Novels imported from post-1945 Japan in one way or another. Its introduction may have been done through pirating to the chagrin of Japanese publications, by the Council State previously allowing translations and sales in stores specializing in this sort of media as part of its Economic Foreignization (EF) within international trade, or from people becoming enamored with the Japanese National Consciousness. Whichever the case may be, it is important to realize that post-1945 Japan since the Lost Decades has had a vested interest in worldwide dissemination of such media as part of its economic policies.

Following the collapse of the Asset Price Bubble in the late 1980s, post-1945 Japan has been trying to figure out how to escape from the socioeconomic stagnation of the Lost Decades. The Japanese government remained adamant in the 1990s that keeping insolvent privatized commercial banks alive (as “Zombie Banks”) and conducting public works projects would address it. Unfortunately, recent economic history demonstrated otherwise, which did not come unnoticed by its economic ministry, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) made the logical choice of diversifying its portfolio. One of the ways in which METI did that was subsidizing the country’s “Creative Industries,” which is to say the various Japanese Industries producing Light Novels, Manga, and Anime. Video games also fall under that designation.

This particular policy received the moniker “Cool Japan” in the early 2000s before finally adopting the name and assuming proper form a decade later in the early 2010s. The crux of the policy, to summarize the Incentives of METI, was to give those “Creative Industries” a larger role in the country’s export strategy. In an Asia where the PRC, ROK, and others are catching up with post-1945 Japan’s manufacturing capabilities, Japanese Creative Industries have become increasingly part of that export strategy. The result has been a more profound popularity of anything created by its “Creative Industries.”

The reason why I am focusing squarely on a subset of Japanese Creative Industries is because it is too common these days to expect a given Anime to be an adaptation of a Manga or a Light Novel than the reverse. Often, the Anime is one elaborate, glorified advertisement for either the Manga, the Light Novel, or both. In the case of the latter, the Manga merely provides a little bit more plot and character development, expecting the reader to purchase the Light Novel to get the full story. It is because of those arrangements that it is tenable to argue that Japanese Anime in 2021 was a $24.80 USD Industry for the Japanese Market Economy. In that same year alone, 29% of all Kapital accumulated from that Industry was through merchandising.

There is also a Technology angle to this endeavor. Last year, some Anime studios have invested in NFTs and Blockchain technologies in order to boost merchandise sales. Certain Manga publications have taken a new interest in these technologies as well. It has even gotten to the point in which a number of Anime-related Cryptocurrencies have emerged. One of them went as far as to contemplate the creation of an Isekai genre Anime with NFTs.   

I have argued in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.) that international trade includes the exchange of information across international borders. What was said there is also applicable here. Unlike everyday goods and services or immigrants and Kapital, the idea of trying to limit information on Protectionist or Autarkic grounds may be misconstrued in the minds of some to be justifications for unnecessary censorship by the Council State. After all, the gamut of conventional responses against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have revolved around increasing the Prices of Imports or backing domestic production of a given Equipmentality.   

But those who read The Work-Standard will recall that there are other overlooked measures. Should the Council State adopt the Work-Standard, it receives Intents to implement regulatory measures to deter foreign competition from harming domestic manufacturers. For instance, the Council State could cite the importance of the Quality of Arbeit (QW) in the production of goods and services that were imported from other countries. Certain goods and services could be restricted on grounds that they harm the nation’s QW and ipso facto its Sociable Currency’s Value within exchange rates.  

The Anime Industry itself, including American personnel who assist them in production and distribution of English localizations, can also play their own roles in the Council State’s Protectionist or Autarkic policies. The best part is that the Council State does not have to be in any communications and indirectly give credence to their efforts. In essence, there are American voice actors and directors in the Industry who have been vocal on the World Wide Web (WWW) about the piracy of these kinds of media. The prevalence of pirating is an Unintended Consequence of the Japanese Creative Industries failing to take into consideration the fact that there are plenty of people in developing countries and certain Western countries who do not have access to official distribution services like in the English-speaking world. As a result, it is more logical to pirate them instead.  

For the Council State, it needs to maintain its hegemony over international trade within its own borders. By supporting anti-piracy measures, it might be able to limit the rate of Economic Foreignization from this Domain on the National Intranet. Obviously, the best way to combat piracy is to support its own nation’s Animation Industry and translation projects of foreign media. The domestic Animation Industry’s translations could then be sold for Actual Geld at the Specialty Shops, and anyone interested in importing merchandise from Japan will need to do so in Japanese Yen on the National Internet through an eCommerce service or with the Specialty Shops offline. That would be the best way to address the piracy of such media.  

Granted, there is always genuine concern about the import of such media causing unwanted Economic Foreignization (EF). After all, the domestic Animation Industry may not be able to create its own media compete against those of post-1945 Japan. The Council State should support them in its determination to promote the National Consciousness of the Totality. The VCS Economy must not be flooded by any foreign media. A Protectionist or Autarkic stance on Japanese Anime can be taken without ever having to resort to some really lame excuse for censorship. If the Council State has decided that Machinima the Artform is something worth developing further on the National Intranet, it should be able to realize the importance of investing in its nation’s Animation Industry.

Categories: Politics

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