Virtual Ninja project

exploring the transformative potentials of violence in videogames

The Virtual Ninja Project is part of a wider research initiative focussed on an engagement with questions of political, ethical, and philosophical expression in manga, anime, and videogames. It arises from a major, 5-year, 1.25 million euro grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, awarded to Professor Chris Goto-Jones of Leiden University and hosted by Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan

2010 Ninja Enlightenment Survey

In the early stages of this project we ran an international survey via the respected gaming culture magazine, Edge. The so-called Ninja Enlightenment Survey went live on 29 September 2010. The survey asked gamers a number of questions about their gaming habits and, in particular, about the ways in which they brought a sense of meaning to their play. We received several hundred submissions, 239 of which were fully completed.
Stacks Image 10444
Cover of the Virtual Ninja Manifesto by Chris Goto-Jones (concept) and Siku (artwork).
The VNM is the result of collaboration with gamers around the world. It can be downloaded for FREE from the
iBooks store.

2014 Virtual Ninja Survey

Believing that the Virtual Ninja Manifesto is a product of our collaboration with gamers around the world, in December 2014 we return to the readers of Edge magazine (or other interested parties) to ask whether they find anything of value or interest in this little book.

Once again, we ask that gamers spare a little time to help the Virtual Ninja Project to provide new and exciting responses to the tired questions that appear constantly in the media. Moving beyond the persistent debates about whether violence in videogames can transform even the meekest gamer into a gun-toting maniac, we seek to explore the possibility that fighting in a videogame might be similar to fighting in the martial arts - a means of self-cultivation, self-improvement, and transformation.