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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The study of playability through the case of Slavic lore for immersion in English and Spanish editions of the game / JOANNA KUSNIEREK

Swansea University Author: JOANNA KUSNIEREK

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Abstract

The video games industry is, undoubtedly, one of the most profitable industries. Each year, video game companies release hundreds of different titles, participating in the race for critical acclaim and fans' recognition. Video games are subject to a complex localisation process, allowing intern...

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Published: Swansea 2021
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Master of Research
Degree name: MA by Research
Supervisor: López-Terra, F. ; Fernandez-Parra, M.
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58633
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Abstract: The video games industry is, undoubtedly, one of the most profitable industries. Each year, video game companies release hundreds of different titles, participating in the race for critical acclaim and fans' recognition. Video games are subject to a complex localisation process, allowing international players to fully benefit from their entertainment value, regardless of the language they speak. Building on the concept of playability as the crucial measure of localisation quality, this thesis investigates how localisation affects playability, its key factors and their implication on playability itself. This research focuses on role-playing games (RPG) in which the narrative relies significantly on a given (authentic or fictional) (langua)culture. In this investigation, a handful of scenes from the Polish game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt were selected to compare how the Slavic elements interplay in different languages. A selection of scenes was analysed in the Polish, English, and Spanish versions. Following the Grounded Theory Method, the scenes were analysed with the application of the theory containing concepts such as othering, self othering, going native, and languaculture. The theory was then compared with the players' experience of the game, displayed on international fora such as Reddit.com or the CD PROJEKT RED forum. The results presented in this thesis show that the gamers' cultural immersion can be compared to the three steps of scientific fieldwork proposed by Malinowski and that it is achieved not only by the mentioned concepts but also by cultural connotations. Moreover, the study suggests that playability depends on gamers' participation and gamers' engagement. It also indicates that the informative and operative text types are used to create functional information; meanwhile, the expressive text category is being used to build the ambience of the game. The multidisciplinary approach and the results can be crucial in improving players' experience in localised games.
Item Description: A selection of third party content is redacted or is partially redacted from this thesis due to copyright restrictions.
Keywords: video games localisation, playability, Slavic folklore, Polish, English, Spanish
College: College of Arts and Humanities