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Fun for All

Translation and Accessibility Practices in Video Games

Edited By Carmen Mangiron, Pilar Orero and Minako O'Hagan

Video games have evolved to become a pervasive format which is beyond entertainment, enjoyed by a broad group of people rather than as a niche activity by hardcore gamers. However, to date, academic studies focusing on game localization and accessibility are few and far between, despite the fact that further research in localization and accessibility would be beneficial to all. The different contributions in this pioneering volume address the emerging fields of Game Accessibility and Game Localization from different angles, providing insightful information about these relatively unexplored academic areas with such close tights to the industry. The volume is divided in two sections: the first section includes four contributions on Game Accessibility, dealing with issues such as universally accessible games and guidelines for promoting accessibility. The second section of the book includes nine contributions focussing on different issues affecting game translation and localization, such as case studies, culturalization, fan translation, and terminology management for the game localization industry.
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Video games have evolved to become a pervasive format which is beyond entertainment enjoyed by a broad group of people rather than as a niche activity by hardcore gamers. More recently casual and social games have been further pushing such a trend, turning digital games into a universal phenomenon. Recent game statistics in developed countries indicate the ratio of people in the population who play digital games surpassing well over the 50% mark. For example, the US-based Entertainment Software Association reported that 72% of the US population played a digital game in 2010 (ESA 2011: 2). This suggests mainstreaming of video games and their potentially significant influence on societies as a whole, providing further impetus to research.

This edited volume arose from the first International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds held at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) on 2 -3 December 2010, organised by the TransMedia Catalonia Research Group of UAB, which is part of the Centre for Ambient Intelligence and Accessibility in Catalunya (CAIAC). The focus of the conference was unique in its comprehensive approach combining game accessibility, game translation and localization and also related issues in broader environments of virtual worlds. Such combination was due to a broad view of accessibility, which not only encompasses users with functional diversity, but also those who due to age or skill are not able to play a game successfully, those who do not speak the original language of the...

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