The (In)visible Agency of Video Games Localizers: A Case Study

Document Type : Original Research


1 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


The sociological study of video games from the perspective of Translation Studies is a largely uncharted territory. The present study seeks to address this gap by shedding light on the (in)visible agency of video games translators into Persian. It does this through highlighting the concept of interactivity as the distinctive feature of video games. To this end, four Persian localized video games were selected as the corpus sample. The games were of different genres to account for the varying degrees of interactivity in different game genres. Upon textual analysis, the cases of translators' (in)visible agency were identified by the researchers. The findings suggest that video games translators exerted visible agency for clarifying game references, increasing comprehension, providing commentaries, and reflecting on their translation strategies. Furthermore, translators' invisible agency was primarily directed at clarifying non-verbal information encoded within the semiotic configuration of video games. These findings will be discussed in light of different game situations and hence varying levels of interactivity.


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