Translation and Accessibility Practices in Video Games
Translating Fun for All: Promoting Accessibility in Video Games: Alberto Fernández Costales
Translating Fun for All: Promoting Accessibility in Video Games1
ALBERTO FERNÁNDEZ COSTALES
Centre d’ Accessibilitat i Intel·ligència Ambiental de Catalunya / Universidad de Oviedo
This paper analyses the role of translation in the process of creating accessible video games. Within the framework of globalisation and the ‘information society’, video games have become one of the most popular sources of entertainment for millions of people around the world. Moreover, the ‘democratization’ of games, triggered by the emergence of casual gaming, has created new videogame users, altering the stereotypical profile of ‘hardcore’ players. In this context, the concept of accessibility needs revisiting, as the new user types may indicate that accessibility relates not only to people with disabilities. Promoting game accessibility is therefore even more important, due to the diversity and complexity of the ‘global audience’. As multimedia and multimodal products, video games need to be adapted and translated into target cultures in order to preserve playability as well as to conform to the expectations of users. The ways translation can contribute to (re)creating video games and the connection between game accessibility and audiovisual translation have not yet been sufficiently discussed. This article supports the idea that translation is a key element to fostering e-inclusion and can contribute to bridging the digital divide.