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Cracking Technocultural Memory: Scenes and Stories of Origin in the PlayStation Portable Forensic Imaginary

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Part of the Palgrave Games in Context book series (PAGCON)

Abstract

Focusing on the PlayStation Portable’s (PSP) cracking, this chapter uses the local origins of a firmware hack to insist that globally distributed game hardware can also meaningfully have local specificity. By drawing from digital ethnographic and media archaeological theories and methods, Murphy connects the cracking of the PSP to a provincial instantiation of the hardware and specific version of firmware that were only available during the platform’s local launch in Japan.

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Fig. 8.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    See Samuelson (2005).

  2. 2.

    See Sony Corp. of Am. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 US 417 (1984).

  3. 3.

    Armored Core: Formula Front (From Software), Darstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (Capcom), Doko Demo Issho (Sony Computer Entertainment), Everybody’s Golf (Clap Hanz), Lumines (Q Entertainment), Mahjong Fight Club (Konami), Dynasty Warriors (Omega Force), Kotoba no Puzzle: Mojipittan (Namco), The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (Nihon Falclom), Metal Gear Acid (Konami), Ridge Racer (Namco), and Ultimate Block Party (Magic Pot).

  4. 4.

    Every game was produced by a Japanese studio, but two never officially left Japan (Doko Demo Issho, and Kotoba no Puzzle: Mojipittan), and out of the remaining nine that eventually appeared in North America, seven were released in Europe, and only one made its way to Australia (Dynasty Warriors).

  5. 5.

    See https://web.archive.org/web/20050518050728/http://forums.ps2dev.org:80/viewtopic.php?t=1570

  6. 6.

    See Bez, Roberto, Camerlenghi, Emilio, Modelli, Alberto, and Visconti, Angelo. 2003. Introduction to flash memory. Proceedings of the IEEE 91,4: 489–502. doi:10.1109/JPROC.2003.811702.

  7. 7.

    See Kagal, Lalana, Finin, Tim, and Joshi, Anupam. 2001. Trust-based security in pervasive computing environments. Computer 34, 12: 154–157.

  8. 8.

    The post is no longer available online, but it can be found in Tyranid’s PowerPoint presentation at 8:02.

  9. 9.

    In a recent keynote address given at the replaying Japan conference in 2018, Kutaragi downplayed the media hype which surrounded the console wars, but he also insisted that he wanted Sony to be more than an existing contributor to the “genre of video games” and a pioneer in a new genre of computer entertainment.

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Murphy, D. (2021). Cracking Technocultural Memory: Scenes and Stories of Origin in the PlayStation Portable Forensic Imaginary. In: Swalwell, M. (eds) Game History and the Local. Palgrave Games in Context. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66422-0_8

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