Netnography of Fan Localization on Social Media Releases: Observation of Overwatch (OW) and Overwatch League (OWL)

Document Type : Original Research


University of College London, UK


The fanbase of the Overwatch series and its esports competition, Overwatch League, has witnessed numerous enthusiasts, who are dedicated to fan localization of diversified social media releases from English sources into the Chinese context. The implementation of such fan activities has significantly enhanced the dissemination of information across various language contexts, thereby fostering extensive interactions within global fan communities. Through frameworks of practice-led research and netnography, this article examines Chinese fan localizers’ incentives and procedures in contributing to the English-Chinese localization of social media content. It also sheds light on potential localization issues concerning including authenticity of the information, localization quality, and fan localizers’ subjectivity. From an academic standpoint, this article explores the significant transformation of audiovisual works by extending academic cognition into new media forms, technical tools, user behaviors, and relationships with communication and translation. It illustrates the multifaceted nature of game localization and highlights the potential integration of social media fandom to generate localized content related to video games. Furthermore, it delves deeper into the intricate interplay between game localization, audiovisual translation, and game communities.


Main Subjects