Serious games localisation. Playability and translation strategies
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AutorLachat Leal, Christina
European Society for Translation Studies (EST)
TranslationSerious gameVideogames localisationPlayability
Lachat Leal, C. Serious games localisation. Playability and translation strategies. In: 8th European Society for Translation Studies (EST) Congress. Translation Studies: Moving Boundaries. Aarhus (Denmark), 2016. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/42448]
Serious games, traditionally defined as ‘a mental contest, played with a computer in accordance with specific rules, that uses entertainment to further government or corporate training, education, health, public policy, and strategic communication objectives’ (Zyda 2005: 26), use the incentives of game design (competition, curiosity, collaboration and individual challenge) to boost the motivation of participants in carrying out complex or tedious tasks (Michel 2014). Similarly, entertainment video games simulate an experience on screen. Playability is the properties and attributes, taken as a whole, that define the experience of the video game player. Those attributes are satisfaction, learning, efficacy, immersion, motivation and excitement. The most important papers on localization of video games (Chandler 2005; Mangiron 2013; Bernal 2014) are dedicated almost exclusively to entertainment video games in which the importance of the recreational experience of the user is evident. However, it is not so clear in the translation of a serious game. We take as an example a video game developed by the E-UCM Research Group for the application of a WHO Surgical Safety Checklist which combines localization of software, audiovisual translation and translation of highly specialised material for an expert audience. In appearance, it can have more similarities with scientific translation than with the localization of video games. Consequently, in the translation process the player’s experience may be relegated to a secondary level. In this poster we will analyse the impact of playability on serious game localization. Specifically, we shall study the elements related with the immersive experience, the aim of which is to secure an emotional response from the player, and their influence on translation strategies.