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Translation and Reception of Culture-based Humor in a Video Game: A Case Study of StarCraft II

Sang-Bin Lee 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to examine whether literally translated humor in a localized video game can be understood and appreciated by target-culture game players. The main focus of attention is on Verbally Expressed Humor (VEH) whose humorous elements are based almost entirely on cultural references. Cultural references refer to intertextual features that are rooted in and tied to a specific culture, especially those related to films, books, celebrities, songs, etc. This study is based on the hypothesis that: (1) if culture-based VEH in a video game is translated literally, the target-culture game players will have difficulty in understanding and appreciating the translated humor for lack of knowledge of source culture and (2) if target-culture game players declare they understood certain instances of culture-based VEH, such response will be a personal, individualized reinterpretation of the humor, not the intended humor response. To examine this hypothesis, the researcher discussed illustrative examples of culture-based VEH in StarCraft II and conducted a comparative questionnaire survey of source- and target-culture game players on whether the two respondent groups understand the intended humorous elements in their respective versions.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.