Declining Birth Rates: From Japan to the United States

The birth rate in Japan continues to decline year-on-year, while the overall population continues to rise due to immigration. According to the CIA World Factbook of 2017, Japan is ranked 2nd for highest median age (47.3). As of October 2016 (mercatornet.com)  Japan’s birth rate fell below 1 million for the first time since 1899, while there were 1.3 million people that died the same year. If the declining birth rate continues to drop, Eric Johnston from JapanTimes states that, “896 cities, towns and villages throughout japan are facing extinction by 2040.”

 

Now, the problem seems to spread across the sea, as millennials in the U.S. refuse to have kids as well.

What is the problem with the population decline? Why do the local residents in either countries refuse to have kids?

A Graph from Osaka university (Slide 4) shows a result of a survey as to why Japanese citizens consider not to marry or to have children. The chart is separated by genders. Translated, it looks like this:

Either genders have the belief that being single means that they will have more freedom for hobbies and meeting with friends etc.

Another factor Osaka university points out is the progression of women in the workforce. The prominent answer on the female side is due to the fact that more females are now in the workforce with higher wages. This complements the other top answers, as they believe that it’s more convenient to focus on their work when they don’t have to worry about taking care of anyone else.

Below are some explanations from the survey as to why fewer Japanese people are considering marriage, or having kids.

Taking the subject matter from Japan to the United States, online articles from Rooster and Healthyway gives us some insight as to why some people in the U.S. might not consider having kids. Both articles had similar reasons, such as:

1.       The fear of raising kids in a bleak future.

2.       Financial problems.

3.       Fear of ruining their children with terrible parenting.

4.       More people wanting to pursue their goals in life. (College/Work)

5.       Fear of commitment of marriage/having kids.

Mary Sauer from Healthyway also mentioned the current position women are in, similar to the survey data seen from Osaka University. (Ex: Women are under less pressure and have more options, etc.)

According to Asia matters for America it is possible that millennials across the pacific have similar negative connotation towards having children too early. California has the highest Japanese population in the United States. To see if there are any correlation with the given data, we take a look at California’s birth rate and overall population, courtesy of the California Department of Finance:

While there might not be a direct correlation between Japanese people directly affecting U.S millennials, it’s important to consider that there is a possibility that the decline in birthrate might affect the environment you live in as well.

Player Input Episode 1: Metagaming

 

This podcast covers 3 topics about the metagame, which were discussed with 4 interviewees:

  1. The definition of metagaming, and it’s application
  1. How the community shapes/evolves the metagame
  1. The possibility of predicting the future meta.

Half of the interviewees have a negative connotation when it came to metagaming; one of the interviewees mentions that, “…it was a set of rules for people who took video games way too seriously.” While some etiquette within metagaming is nice, interviewees states that being restricted with additional set of rules limits the enjoyment they get playing games.

Using fighting games as an example, all of the interviewees mentions that they would like to see unpredictability in the matches.

Most of the time, the game needs to have a competitive community for people to come up with a meta. When that happens, players usually tend to complain about certain aspects of the game, in which game developers could decide to create a patch to fix errors and bugs in a game. Patches may include buffing (strengthening) some aspect/character in a game, or to nerf (weaken) a character to end up with a more balanced experience for all players. The interviewees talk about how important the player/viewer’s voice is in molding the meta. Additionally, they mention about the main difference between the typical player vs. A sponsored player who plays for a living. The sponsored player’s opinions are widely accepted, and they must use that power responsibly.

In the last topic the interviewees gave different examples when talking about how they would predict the metagame:

The first interviewee mentions that not all games have the same amount of predictability in the meta; games such as the pokemon franchise might have to factor in uncertainty and numerical equations, while sports games go hand in hand with the real variant, making it easier to predict.

The second interviewee mentions about how one game (smash bros) focuses on theory crafting. While it may be a good idea to look at the “what ifs” in a fighting game, the interviewee hopes that practicality would prevail.

The third interviewee talks about how upcoming trailers and patch notes to predict the metagame. The interviewee mentions about how patch notes are the more concrete way to predict the meta, as the trailers designed to entice players to purchase said game.

The last interviewee talks about the people who predicts the metagame, and how they might negatively impact the meta in general. A public figure predicting the meta might alter the outcome.

 

Intro- Fire Emblem Awakening: Conquest – Jazz Cover ||Insaneintherainmusic

By insaneintherainmusic – Carlos Eiene

Outro- [Fire emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War] Disturbance in Agustria [Rearrange]

By Crescen♪o