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Video Game Translation and Cognitive Semantics


Mateusz Sajna

The book concentrates on video game translation from the perspective of cognitive semantics. One of its objectives is to assert that translators’ knowledge of cognitive semantics can affect translation, i.e. decoding the sender’s mental states and evoking particular mental states in the target language recipient. The work is interdisciplinary and draws on such fields as games studies, cognitive semantics, and translation studies. It also aspires to complete gaps in the scientific research on video games, systematize the knowledge of localization, and ascertain the role played by translators in the localization process. The research material consists of eight video games which belong to different genres, and the investigated English video game texts cover almost 3000 standard pages.

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Video Games And Video Gaming


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Chapter 1:  Introduction to Video Games And Video Gaming


Chapter 1 provides introductory information on the subject of video games and video gaming. Firstly, I ascertain the distinctive features of video games and offer my stance in the discussion upon their artistic nature. Secondly, there is an analysis of the differences between games produced for personal computers as well as gaming consoles, and the social aspects of playing video games. Subsequently, Chapter 1 moves on to game typologies, furnishing the reader with two dissimilar yet complementary approaches. I present a concise historical outline of video games afterwards, and proceed to their lexical diversity. I also discuss the previous research conducted within the combined areas of video gaming and translation studies. The various discussions in Chapter 1 ought to facilitate an understanding of the issues raised in the subsequent parts of the book.

1.  What Are Video Games?

Video games are a global entertainment industry and are now believed to have become “the world’s biggest cult phenomenon” (Grossman 2004). However, can all the products developed by the gaming industry be defined as video games or should there be another umbrella term? It is surprising to find no agreement upon terminology even among games researchers themselves (O’Hagan 2007: 2). They interchangeably use “computer games” (Raessens and Goldstein 2005), “electronic games”, “digital games” (Bruce and Rutter 2006), and “videogames” (Newman 2004). In this book, I shall adhere to the term...

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