They are simply not worth it': The global games market, media liminality and the manga revolution

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Communications and Contemporary Arts




Balnaves, M., & Tomlinson-Baillie, K. (2005). 'They are simply not worth it': the global games market, media liminality, and the Manga revolution. Australian Journal of Communication, 32(3), 63. Available here


Cartoons have at best been seen as good pop art and at worst a threat to children's behaviour. However, modern Manga anime stories such as YuGiOh are turning out to be more than cartoons and more than games. They are serious global business and part of the phenomenon of age compression. In this paper, we provide an overview of growth in the interactive games industry and associated international statistics. The paper outlines the industry's current strategies to deal with 'age compression'-the disappearance of childhood-together with its aim to keep people playing games for a lifetime. Companies such as Konami, the makers of YuGiOh, are using its story in a multi-media, multi-sensual way to create a stimulating world, a media- liminal space that allows children to participate in and to adapt the narrative as it progresses, using the shared knowledge, understandings, skills, and language that become innate as the child participates. In this way, the narrative world becomes world building. This whole process has implications for earning as well as the development of ideological structures within society, over time.