Promoting Yokosuka through Videogame Tourism: The Shenmue Sacred Spot Guide Map

Carlos Ramírez-Moreno, Dale Leorke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Regional and local governments have long recognised the potential for films, television shows, novels and other media texts that are set in their city or country to attract tourists. Although there is a wealth of scholarship on how real-world locales are represented in digital games, scholars have to date largely overlooked the potential for videogames to likewise attract fans and ‘pilgrims’ to the locations in which they are set. This chapter addresses this gap through the case study of Yokosuka in Japan, which has recognised the cult classic videogame Shenmue (1999) as a drawcard for tourists and fans outside the city. Through its sacred spot guide map, Yokosuka officials provide a guide for tourists seeking to visit locations depicted in the game that contrasts their fictional and real-world counterparts and invites visitors to explore the city’s spaces through affiliated promotion campaigns. Drawing on an analysis of the guide map, an interview with its creators and field observation in Yokosuka itself, we examine the potential for the guide map and other forms of city-funded videogame tourism to put cities that are otherwise overlooked in travel guides and reviews figuratively ‘on the map’ and to boost their local economy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGames and Play in the Creative, Smart and Ecological City
EditorsDale Leorke, Marcus Owens
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-00776-0
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-44123-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sustainable Urbanism


  • game studies
  • Tourism
  • urban studies
  • contents tourism

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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