1UP examines the differences in American and Japanese game design including philosophies, camera control, save points, cultural interpretations, and linearity. Here are a few abridged concepts outlining why our games may be so different:
  • Americans are big on individuality, hence they like free-roaming environments in games
  • Japanese favor cinematic presentation over the added control of free-roaming cameras
  • American designers generally aim for realism whereas the Japanese seem to prefer more stylized graphics
  • The right to bear arms and a strong military influence could be the reason Americans prefer FPSs more than the Japanese where a military presence is almost non-existent
In essence, both societies rely heavily on their respective cultures for inspiration when making games. That's not to say the two don't have a lot in common, however; censorship of violent games is a contested topic in both countries.

[Thanks, Miniboss]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.