Cultural Transduction and Intertextuality in Video Games: An Analysis of Three International Case Studies

Cultural Transduction and Intertextuality in Video Games: An Analysis of Three International Case Studies

Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed (Universidad del Norte, Colombia), Hernán David Espinosa-Medina (Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia) and James Biddle (University of Georgia, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0477-1.ch009
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This chapter addresses the relationship that exists between intertextuality and cultural transduction in video game localization. Whereas the former refers to the dual relationship established between texts and previous texts available to the potential readers and the bridges that are consciously or unconsciously established between them, cultural transduction refers to the conscious process of transforming audiovisual content to suit the interests of a given cultural market. Three case studies are presented to explore the relationship that exists between the place of production, the internal cultural references to other texts within the games and the intended market where the video game is distributed: Finally, the importance of intertextuality as part of the cultural transduction process is highlighted.
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Localization And Cultural Transduction

The concept of localization is used here in its “broader sense, which encapsulates any of a wide range of activities designed to adapt products to the perceived differences between local markets” (Carlson & Corliss, 2011, p. 65). Localization goes beyond translation (Bernal Merino, 2006) and aims at making a media product accepted and understood within specific cultural markets. From this perspective, localization is almost coterminous to cultural transduction.

Uribe-Jongbloed and Espinosa-Medina (2014) developed the concept of cultural transduction to provide a framework to the flow of cultural products that transcend national borders. The framework looks at a variety of elements that interplay in the design and distribution of a product from the onset in a methodical procedure with four aspects:

  • Markets: Looking at the cultural proximity or distance between the market of the original product –or where it was created – and the insertion markets (see Bicket, 2005);

  • Product: Analyzing conditions of the product, which may explain its appeal, or lack thereof, when crossing over cultural borders;

  • People: Studying the people involved in the process of recognizing, trading and modifying a product to suit specific cultural markets;

  • Process: Classifying the mechanism through which the transduction is carried out.

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