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Filipino migrant workers as seen in video games

Images from Yakuza 4, produced by Sega for the PS3 (Ryu ga Gotoku 4 - original Japanese title).

I thought it was very interesting that the topic of Filipino migrant workers was touched upon by a Japanese video game. I have never seen the issue brought up in any other video game before. Then again, this game is one of the few that would be able to bring up the subject since the setting is in modern day Japan. Most other Japanese games are set in a fantasy world, historical setting, or in other countries, where the subject would have no place in.

Fay's story is only a "sub-story" within the game, and gamers who do not attempt to finish all the sub-stories will probably not even see this part. It's not necessary to play all sub-stories to finish the main game. However, the developers have dedicated a significant amount of time to develop her story because Fay's sub-story is rather long compared to other sub-stories, and they even created a dedicated CG cutscene for this sequence. About 90% of the other sub-stories don't have CG cutscenes. That would lead me to think that the designers had something they wanted to say about Filipinas like her.

Fay's sequence is not the only one related to Filipino migrant workers... there is another Filipino character named Nadine with her own sub-story. However, her part of the game is very short.

I think this shows that these issues are starting to become a bit more well-known in Japanese society, and perhaps more "accepted". It's also interesting to note that the Filipinas in the stories are portrayed as "victims" who are not in Japan for selfish reasons, but because they want to help their families in the Philippines.

Filipino migrant workers as seen in video games Reviewed by JM Taylor on 7/11/2011 04:16:00 PM Rating: 5

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