When to Forgo the Culturalization of Video Games: Contextualizing Globalization within the Mobile Marketplace

* A featured article on Gamasutra. *

Written by LAI’s Game Localization Marketing Specialist Karin Skoog in collaboration with LAI’s CEO David Lakritz.


Localization is the adaptation of video games for regional markets, to include changing components such as graphics and cultural references.  Localization is important so gamers within specific regions can enjoy the game as if it were the original, by integrating key aspects of local culture while also adhering to legal and regulatory requirements.  (It is necessary to censor certain components of games in order for governments or organizations to approve a game’s release or rating.)  The ultimate goal of localization is to ensure the game makes sense for natives while maintaining the original feel of the game.  Localization can occur in the absence of text or audio translation.  For example, no translation is necessary in manipulating images like eliminating skeletons and exposed bone in Chinese versions of games to accommodate for country restrictions.

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Courses, Certificates, and Credentials Related to Game Translation and Localization

While there are a plethora of resources and training materials available for translators, there are a few education opportunities geared specifically toward video game translation.  LAI scoured the internet for coursework, certifications, and degrees with a video game component.  Below are the available credentials and related descriptions.

In addition to the following courses and degrees, be sure to check Ian Bogost’s current list of courses at Georgia Tech.  A former class he taught was titled “Videogame Adaptation and Translation.”  The University of Limerick in Ireland also put on a “Summer School” called “Computer & Video Game Localisation” in 2011.  The website includes video presentations of the session.  Be sure to check back on our blog for future education opportunities.


University of Roehamption. London – MA in Audiovisual Translation

Description: The MA in Audiovisual Translation is a leading course in its field, recognised internationally and a member of the European Masters in Translation network coordinated by the European Commission.  The course offers teaching and training in core subjects of Audiovisual Translation, such as subtitling and dubbing, but also in innovative areas of accessibility (respeaking and audio-description, for instance) and localisation (software and video games localisation).  Academic staff are all research active and involved with members of the translation industry.

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