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I voted for all three. I think most games are created based on the native language that the company speaks in, which I assume in this case is English. But I don't think it should ever be safe to say that it should only be English or some other language on the basis that it is an "international language." I can't say for certain how much of the world really learns English as a requirement, but I feel it could be unfair to limit others who don't learn it or have weak understandings. To open up the game to virtually everyone there needs to be more accessibility. A translator could help to get basic translations across, but could have trouble translating cultural references that don't translate well to other languages. Universal icons would be a great idea to help out anything the translators can't get, and can allow most anyone understand at a basic level. Overall, I think more accessibility is best.
I believe that icons would be a better choice for the game. Yes, English is one of the most widely spoken languages; having translations by region could make the game more accessible to those who might not be as familiar to the language; but what many people forget are the politics involved in choosing a language. Take any linguistics class, and you will find out the incredible pains people go through to have their language recognized by the state. When language is involved, there's always a hierarchy. In matters of English, some might consider having an English-only game to be a form of cultural imperialism. Others might be against English and what it stands for. Even if we were to use translations, there's going to be a base language all the other translations will be drawing from, and who is going to account for the thousands and thousands of languages, dialects, and cultural variations? Plus, there's always a strong history embedded in language use--just look at the linguistic histories of India or parts of Africa. Plus, it is too optimistic to think that there will be a willing and able translator for every language people want. Just look at manga, anime, and Japanese light novels--the market for them is a lot larger than this game will have (at least in the beginning), and a lot of times there are imperfect and irregular translations of those, despite their popularity. Fan-based translations, while appreciated, are not always available.
Language is a form of empowerment, but also a form of oppression. It is a battleground of politics. Use only English, and we would be forcing the language upon others who might object. (Not only that, but what English would we use? American? British? Or one of the other many, many regional variations out there?) Allow for any language? It's can be too much work to cater to all the languages out there, and even then dialects of different languages might be left out, which could fuel anger against the makers of the game or other players (such as maybe including Spanish [from Spain], but not Catalan).
Icons, as visual images, can be embedded with different meanings according to local culture. As someone else mentioned, gestures like nodding might mean something different in other cultures. They make a valid point. While it might be impossible to make a game that is not influenced by culture in some way, removing language would be one less barrier to many. If there were forum boards available to the players, they could communicate, sort out, and negotiate the meaning of the icons as they see fit. If there is something especially offensive, the matter could be brought up with the creators.
This whole game is about getting away from the structures that limit the games of today. Many games are embedded with the political systems of the real world, thus setting up a framework that the player has no choice but to accept. By using a specific language, the game would do just that - it would limit the player into using a certain language. The use of icons would be the most fair because everyone (regardless of what language you speak) would start on the same playing level. Also, there wouldn't be the issue of localisation and all of the challenges that come along with it, such as, modifying the game to fit in with the cultural environments of different people. That would cause too many different versions of the game to be released, thus muddling the original message and intent of the game.
As someone who grew up playing video games with a really limited English, playing those games whose only available language was English helped me a lot. All those years of playing helped me read and understand the language so much better that by the time I moved to the United States I had a good grasp on the language. That being said, I agree with the majority of the people here. English is the official language in the gaming world therefore it should be the standard language in all games, besides for those playing in a country whose official language is not English it would benefit them in the long run. Moreover, having English as the language it would save a lot of money for the game developers in having not to translate the game into other popular languages, and can use that money instead on their game to make it better.
English is an international language and it will only become more popular. That being said, games should all just be in English. Look, there is a reason why English is being taught around the world at such an early age. It is a requirement at a lot of countries even when English isn't their native language. English has seriously become one of the most widely spoken languages throughout the world. Computer games have been created by different game developers from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, but the one thing they all share that's the same is English. Playing online games in English allows players to become better at the language itself. I have a cousin who lives in Taiwan and he barely knows english before he began playing online games. But after a couple years of playing, he has improved so much. Even though players from other countries may not understand english 100 percent, it still benefits them in the long run because English is getting more popular everywhere in the world.
I think that your point has merit but it would limit access to the game. It would only allow people who are privileged or fortunate enough to understand or be able to learn English. Also, allowing for the game to be played in various languages would allow English speakers the chance to potentially hear or learn other languages. Say the spoken language in the game is in Japanese, then you could read the subtitled translations in English and maybe slowly begin to understand, just like your cousin learning English better.
--keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to.
I really can not agree with what you said about that games should all just be in English. Even though I agree that English is more popular nowadays among all the world. But there are definitely more people not using English and even do not know a word of English. If games only run by English would be unfair for those who do not use this language. Also, a game is not a teaching tool, we play the game for fun. If we can not even understand what some of the aspect it means, how can we enjoy the game? It is definitely a bias if we only design a game for the most popular language, and it can even considered as a discrimination to those who do not use that certain language. Also let me tell the truth that there are 375 million people use English as there first language, but for Chinese, the number is over one billion, so based on your theory, the fact is that actually Chinese is the most popular one since the most people are using it. So if we say we will design the game only in Chinese, and you are not allow to paly it since you don not understand it. What you think about that? Feel discriminated ?
I agree with the fact that English is an international language that is becoming more popular over time, but why should all games be in English and exclude a translating tool for different languages? Sure, no matter what game is being developed, it's back-end code will always be written in English since most programming languages are English.But English is used in that regard to allow programmers around the world to be able to read each others code. In many games, people rely on information which is provided by NPCs (non player characters) by talking to them and reading what they say. It'd be hard to finish an exploration game such as Zelda, which requires information from several NPCs to finish objectives and not get lost. In Zelda, the main character (Link) interacts with a fairy which tells him where to go and what to do. If you attempt to play the game in a language that you do not understand, it'd be impossible to finish the game. In conclusion, I believe that all games should include an English version because it is so widespread but should also include a translator for different languages in case players cannot understand or read English.
I think the reason why this site is established is because it wants to hear more voices. By limiting users to comment in English is not quite a good idea. Although English is one of the language spoken in the world, that does not mean it represent the majority of people in the world. I think translating tool should not be difficult to provide, but by doing so, it make sure no matter who the user is and what language they use, they can provide their opinion. There would be interaction, communication and exchange. Minority does not have to follow majority or change themselves to fit in majority, everyone should be equal.
I agree that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the game fully, no restricted by the inability to communicate, or disadvantaged by having to communicate in a language that is not fully understood. Widespread and complete localization of games is becoming the norm in the gaming world. Eliminating discrimination in the logistics and way that the game operates paves the way for a better path to eliminating discrimination and racialization within the game. In order to ensure fairness for all players, the game should support as many languages as are necessary to accomodate all willing participants.
I agree with you point when you pointed out the fact that this web site is being created for sharing different opinions. This website is created for hearing more different voices from players and non-players from different sociocultural backgrounds and different parts of the world. It did not required a permit home address nor a real telephone number but an email account which welcomes people all over the world to participate in cultural exchanges, interactions, and global communications. I think there should not be a dominated language for games but an useful tool that translates languages efficiently so people all over the world has the opportunity in participating in the activity. Even though English has been considered as an international language due to the growth of western nations, but that does not mean that English is used for dominating the world. As we consider the expansions in Asian countries, especially the economic bloom in China, we should also be aware that English and the western nations may no longer be dominating and taking over institutes and “cultures” in the world no more. When we look closely into this question about what language should be used in the game, we should first consider what can bring more players together in terms of participating the game in the equal stage and status, as well as not to forget one of the purposes of gaming as bring people together for entertainments and connections. Therefore, there is no particular language to be used in the game, but an efficient tool that translates languages, because as global citizens we should all have the equal opportunity for participating entertainments and making interactions with others. Lastly, there is no particular language that is better among other languages; all languages should be treated equally and presented equally for the users.
English has been recognized as an international language, so computer game should use English to have better communication. As we know, computer games are created by different developers from varies cultural background and country, yet, there seems to have a common element between them—English. There are many countries require English as an important language that need to taught in early age. This is because English has become one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. For me, as a non native speaker, playing online game allow me to communicate with player from other countries in English which is a good way to participate. I also learned many keywords from the game, such as; “nuke” means eliminate the opponent players, which is often used in Arena matches . Also, United States has been recognized as the biggest computer games market in the world, so it makes sense to use English as the main language in computer games. Even though some games are available to translate English to other language, it may easily confused people who have different cultural background. Overall, English is easily accessible for most of the people since it is an international language.
While I agree that it's pretty much fact that English is THE language of modern international diplomacy, industry, trade, and whatnot, I have to disagree when it comes to the game itself. Like virtually any other video game on the market, I feel that agoraXchange should have localization in allowing the game to be accessible. From a practical standpoint, allowing the game itself (in-game instructions, manuals, etc.) to be translated is almost certainly necessary in maximizing its reach and accessibility. While many English-only games/media are indeed popular in non-English speaking countries, the demographics of those who are truly able to play and fully understand them are almost certainly skewed toward the upper strata of people who are educated in another language (especially in third world or developing countries). In addition, introducing other languages into the game, especially through the function of inter-player communication, adds a significant dimension to how the game can be played, as knowledge or skills in other languages and being able to translate them will become a vital advantage (or obstacle) to discourse with players representing other "states."
I agree that it's obvious that English has now become a sort of "universal" language, it shouldn't be the ONLY language used in games. I believe games were made for everyone to enjoy, limiting it to only those who know English is somewhat going against the purpose of games. It's true that other countries have acknowledged that English is indeed a language that must be learned to be more successful in the world, but it's still not their native language. Games that are majorly text based would only discourage some international players from participating because of the complexity in words/context some of these games have in their narratives and dialogues. Games are generally very culture-based as well, depending on where it was produced. Cultures do not cross borders as easily as languages do.
I agree with what you said that those who can play the game should be educated in certain degree. Also your point of maximizing the game's reach by allowing diffent language use is very good. There would be more dimension to see an identical thing in different cultures, I think why human is so advanced compared to other creatures is they communicate and interact with other people in other cultures. If there is only one language in one world, the evolution would not be the same.
I would suggest many different language versions each with their own localization by native speakers who understand the general type of culture that language is spoken in. This would make the game more accessible to a wider and more varied audience. Also supplying language tools could very difficult both for developers but also for any users that may not have a very good understanding of computers and all their operations thus severally limiting its audience. Also by having it english only would limit the audience to a very small niche. It may be a lot of work to make different language versions with their own localizations but in the end it is the best option because it can reach more people.
I will say although specific language like English will good for better communication for people who know English and learn the English, icon might be more straight forward to not only make things much easier than reading the words or terms and trying to figure them out for non English speaker, icons can also gather more people to join the game and the whole notion of the main ideas involving across the site. The translating tool might be helpful, but the translating might be causing some misunderstand for people from different culture backgrounds, and it may also spend some extra time to do the translate which can causing the inconvenience for users to get into the game.
I see your point but I think misunderstanding happen in many place, even with icons. As there are different meanings of a image or gesture in different culture, e.g. Nodding could be regard as 'no' in some culture. Therefore, we can not ensure everyone got the same meaning in an icon. Only by using players' own language, that could make sure better expessing of their own opinion.
I agree that icons are more straightforward since it is easier to learn and a bit more universal than a specific language. English can only cater to those who have a grasp of the language and translation tools are still not 100% accurate in translating different languages, which can have different meanings and interpretations for certain words or phrases. It would also take more time for those who aren’t familiar with English since they would have to take more time to read through it or translate it. If another language was considered, like using an international auxiliary language such as Esperanto, then everyone would have to learn it and start from scratch. However, this would require a time investment by its players who just want to play a game and not be worried about knowing all the details of a language.