Playing with humor: the translation of humor in video games: Ornella Lepre
Playing with humor: the translation of humor in video games
Despite the widespread diffusion of video games and the importance of localization for a market that is increasingly global, the translation of games is the object of comparatively little attention in the field of Translation Studies. In recent years, the number of contributions in this area has increased, with researchers focusing on both the technical (Bernal-Merino, 2007) and cultural (O’Hagan, 2007; Mandiberg, 2009; Mangiron & O’Hagan, 2006) aspects of localization. However, the translation of video game humor is still somewhat neglected, despite acknowledgement in the field of Game Studies that humor has an important role in enhancing player experience (Dorman & Biddle, 2006 and 2009). Moreover, few authors have analyzed the ways in which such humor is rendered into different languages. Notwithstanding the common elements that video games share with other audiovisual media, this paper focuses instead on their distinguishing traits. In addition, it aims at identifying characteristic features of humor in video games and the implications of those features for translation.
After presenting, in Section 1, a variety of methods employed in video games to achieve a humorous effect, Section 2 illustrates specific forms of humor that, due to the peculiarities of the medium, are especially frequent in video games. In particular, Section 2 describes how video game humor builds on the close relationship between the player and the game world, frequently breaking the theatrical fourth wall for humorous purposes and...