An Ethnoludography of the Game Design Industry in Kathmandu, Nepal


  • Gregory P. Grieve


gamevironments, Nepal, Video Game Design, Asia, Ethnoludography, Fieldwork, Cultural flows


What counts as the field site when researching Nepali video game developers? Concentrating on the company Arcube Games and Animation, in the summer of 2017 I used the ethnoludographic method to research game development in the Kathmandu Valley. I recorded my findings in field notes, photographs, written documents and other material culture. My usual ethnographic method developed in two ways. First, I engaged in ludography, a humanistic qualitative method for interpreting gaming. Second, Nepal proved not to be an isolated location, but rather a vortex of global flows. I found that in the Kathmandu valley these flows are often focused on a fantasy of Shangri-La that poses Nepal as an underdeveloped traditional nation, full of picturesque poverty, and over-determined with religious culture, but blessed with beautiful Himalayan landscapes.