Benjamin Chin-Hung Kao

Position title: M.S./Ph.D.


Pronoun(s): he/him/his

Advisor: Prof. Jen Rose Smith


University of St Andrews, MA (Hons) in Social Anthropology and Sustainable Development


Video Games, Popular Culture Studies, Worlds and Worlding, Critical Human and Cultural Geographies, Digital and Environmental Humanities, Modern History, Science and Technology Studies, Human and More-Than-Human Relations, Sonic Imaginaries, Theories of Time-Space, Marginalized Spiritualities, Care Ethics, (New) Materialisms


I am a M.S. student in Geography from Brazil and Taiwan who is interested in how popular culture terrains, such as video game worlds, can hone attentiveness to our socio-cultural milieu. My previous work looked at how people’s embodied experiences of displacement and marginalization can be understood through ludo-narrative spaces of Japanese and American video games. Along these trajectories, my two previous research projects focused on: 1) how registers of emptiness illuminates what it means to care for one another in Persona 5 Royal and 2) how we could reimagine conceptions of sustainability through conversation with/in The Sims 4.


For my current research project, I plan on continuing work with/in video game worlds to deepen understandings of the sociocultural histories and contemporary experiences of (economic) marginalization in Japan. The overarching aim is to consider how video game worlds can, perhaps uniquely due to its simultaneity, facilitate a dialectic conversation between historicity and futurity in the now.


Kao, Benjamin C.H. and Nicole Cizauskas, 2022. Creativity and Digital Research Methodologies: A Conversation between Institutional and Anthropological Research. Ethnographic Encounters, Vol. 12, No. 1, 6-13.


Fall 2022 – Teaching Assistant, GEOG/INTL ST 311 – The Global Game: Soccer, Politics, and Identity


2022-2023 – University Fellowship at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Graduate School

2020-2021 – Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship at Laidlaw Foundation