Thursday, October 13, 2011

Media Without Borders: Introduction

For most people that collect DVDs and games, they mainly collect ones released domestically or within their country. These collectors are unaware of a system that is used in these disks and the systems that run them. Though, anyone who is interested in foreign DVDs and games would have trouble with this system called "regional lockout".

Regional lockout is the system used by distributors of DVDs and games to control sales in other countries or regions. This system uses codes written on the individual disks and the players and consoles that run them. If a code on a disk doesn't correspond with a player, the player will refuse to play them and force them to be incompatible.

Regional lockout primarily benefits the distributors and publishers of these media regarding international sales as well as protecting them regarding different countries customs and laws. For those who do want to collect foreign DVDs and games or at least ones that just aren't available in their region, this system can be very aggravating and potentially expensive.

I'm particularly interested in Japan, its culture, and its media mostly anime and games. Because of this, I'm personally interested in the topic of regional lockout, but the main source I find on it is Wikipedia (whose own references are different articles on specific game consoles) or random forum posts. I intend to use this blog to be informative about it explaining some of the virtues and faults of the system. I admit that I am personally biased against regional lockout and wish that it would be abolished or removed in future releases of players and game consoles. But for the more informative sections, I intend to keep a balanced perspective explaining the topic.


  1. I am also a fan of anime/games/films so this topic relates to me closely. Very interesting blog I would keep an eye on this. Why cant we all enjoy the same content as others, sigh...I remember games was a big deal on region lock, some of a games i would like to play were Japanese region locked and most likely wont be distribute to the North America. Like for example Kingdom Heart Final mix and the other Final mix (only for Japan) those games were addition content of the story and I would love to experiences them. Region lock…should be taken down, in my opinion.

  2. As a gamer I can relate to the frustration associated with region locks, especially when it takes months for a game to make its way to the states from overseas, and often times they never see distribution over here.

    While there are ways around it, it's sad for people to have to look at essentially "hacking" their own systems in order to play content from other countries.

    Xenoblade is another example of a game that made it from Japan to the UK, but never made it here to states, causing people to have to actually buy it from the UK, ship it here, and then alter their WII to even get it to work all so they could play a game.