Last winter, there was a two-week period I spent playing Mario Kart at a friend’s house because I kind of had a crush on a guy who also apparently liked to come over and play it. Actually, as it turned out, he didn’t really like it that much — which was fortunate because I was terrible. I could barely even get Mario to move, let alone race full-speed in the direction he was supposed to for more than five seconds. He just sort of ran repeatedly into brick walls and slogged through turf until someone put him out of his misery.
The whole situation made me feel like I was in junior high school. I couldn’t control the new extensions to my body, and here I was, turning beet red with annoyance at my own flirtation attempts.
But that’s part of the game, right? Not Mario Kart so much, but the dating game — putting yourself out there even when it’s awkward and frustrating, even when you feel like you’re much too old to still not be winning. And maybe, as Terena Bell suggests in her Perspectives, that in turn is like the language services game. In the midst of vying for attention and straining to keep up with the technology curve, something magical can happen. You can create something memorable, whether you’re courting clients, business partners or even just something like interoperability.
Interoperability in games is something Janaina Wittner touches on in the first article in the focus, followed by Frank Dietz’s article on translating gamer slang in World of Warcraft and Alberto Fernández Costales’ on adapting humor in video games. Then Curri Barceló looks at quality assurance (QA) in games, with a sidebar on QA testing by Pablo Muñoz Sánchez. Next, Simone Crosignani has some tips for successful games audio production. Jennifer Vela Valido wraps up the focus with a discussion of games accessibility for everyone.
Toward the front of the magazine, Gianna Tarquini reviews the second edition of The Game Localization Handbook by Heather Chandler and Stephanie O’Malley Deming. Lori Thicke interviews Mirko Plitt of Autodesk in her column, Kate Edwards has a column on cultural acceptance of games and John Freivalds advises localization professionals not to burn bridges. Aaron Schliem’s Perspectives looks at some of the benefits and drawbacks of social gaming. Toward the end of the magazine, Aaron Marcus and Emilie Gould analyze different locales in a cross-cultural study designed to educate a corporation in the United States on collaboration styles. Finally, there is Nataly Kelly’s Takeaway on visual media localization in the economic downturn.
So when you’re wanting to get Mario out of the turf and off the wall, back into the proverbial game, here are plenty of tips to help you out. It just takes a little hand-eye coordination . . . turn the page to begin.