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Gamer-Generated Language and the Localisation of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games

Strong, SA; (2018) Gamer-Generated Language and the Localisation of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Video game localisation has received increased academic attention over the past few years. Despite the call for user-oriented research, few researchers have chosen to focus on issues that are central to end-user experience and its relation to the localised text. With the increased connectivity of gaming in general, and certain game genres in particular, gamers’ language use has become an integral aspect of the game experience. As a result, gamers have become innovative, creating and re-appropriating language, often using non-standard forms to coordinate their gameplay. This innovative and non-standard language, that I call gamer-speak, is the object of my research. In particular, the focus is on the gamer-speak generated by French gamers during group play of two localised Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs): World of Warcraft and WildStar. The main aim is to investigate the phenomenon of gamer-speak in MMORPGs and examine its significance for MMORPG localisation. I achieve this through a linguistic analysis and comparison of gamer conversations, analyses of localised texts and its original counterparts, and from survey data collected from active MMORPG gamers regarding their language use. In this thesis I devise an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological framework for the study of gamer-speak and its influence on MMORPGs which draws principally from Translation Studies and Games Studies. This framework is used to describe the salient features of gamer-speak generated by French gamers when playing the two MMORPGs chosen in the context of Polysystem Theory and Descriptive Translation Studies. The familiarity with and knowledge of French MMORPG players of gamer-speak is determined through surveys. I also examine localised MMORPG text, translated from English into French, paying attention to the role of gamer-speak. Finally, I address the social and cultural implications that gamer-speak has for the target audience of localised MMORPGs. This work adds to our understanding of gamer culture and has implications for game localisation and translation studies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Gamer-Generated Language and the Localisation of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046921
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