Different countries tend to have very different laws on censorship that can govern what a game designer has to change to make it sellable in that country.
Found an interesting book today that seems to fully explore the localisation and cultural odor of pokemon. Need to read some more of this.
Also what was brought to my attention by a friend was the interestinng changes made to the harvest moon games, such as the option for same sex relationships in Harvest Moon DS Cute.
Chris Bubb makes an interesting case for how cultural odour effects the localisation of characters and places in games, pointing out how pokemon characters can have very different personalities in translation.
I have also come across this whilst playing FFXIV, one of the character’s Hauchfant has a slight personality adjustment for the western audience.
They even go as far as to change the facial expressions and mannerisms, the image above is very diffferent to the Western version. His character although very friendly and helpful in the Japanese version, he is also incredibly perverted and obsessed with the player character, however this was changed dramatically for western culture. The West gets a still very exuberant and friendly helper, but with more of a friendship angle, and less of the wanting to see you oiled up and naked.
I will attempt to link the video on here to show the difference, although I am having trouble finding it.
Better late than never they do say, but this summer has been an interesting one, with health issues and other problems cropping up, not so mention having to earn the monies to pay for that extra month or two’s rent on a place I am not living in yet, but I digress.
Anyhow, I’ve been jumping back and forth about what to do and where to go with this assignment, looking at where i want to go in the industry was a big part of what made me choose the current subject matter, at first I was worried that it might not sit alongside what I would be doing on the practical side of things.
I have however realised that the very part of creating games and virtual worlds and peoples all revolves around this notion that Sharon raised to me, Cultural Odour, a strange and not very attractive word, but one that sums up the very subliminal influences that make up the foundations of the worlds we build and the people’s and creatures we create.
It’s easy to see subtle and sometimes outright hammer in face references in films, games, books and television shows we watch, play and read all the time. The Star Wars universe could be said to borrow from many real historical sources to provide it’s flavour, World War 2 for a start resembles the rise of the empire in some ways, the Ideals of the empire and the very clothing they wear resembles the Nazis in many ways. They have a resistance and smugglers who are fighting back the tide of a galactic take over, mirroring that of the struggle of the allies during world war two.
Below: image of a bomber cockpit (left) and Millenium Falcon (right).
Below: Imperial Uniform (left) and Gestapo uniform (right)
Some and noted that Darth Vader’s helmet resembles that of both German infantry helmets and Samuri Headdress.
And that of the Rebels look very similar to American and Russian soldiers.
Taking a step away from star wars for a moment it is very interesting to see the influence that has seeped over in to games such as Warhammer 40k, very much so with the imperial guard. They seem to have gathered odour from German, Russian, American and many other real world armies, with some early 19th century Europe influences too.