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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This paper looks at the practice and history of video game translation, with the goal of expanding the definition of translation. Video game translation is a complex process that incorporates a number of aspects from other types of translation, such as literary, audiovisual, and software translation, to form a dynamic whole. As a new medium, video games also present their own challenges to translation in the form of interactivity, technology, non-textual and extra-textual elements, audience involvement, and new business practices. Even though video games are a relatively new medium, the practice of translating them has undergone drastic transformations over the years. A case study of the various official translations of Final Fantasy IV provides a brief overview of this development to help the reader get a complete understanding of the video game translation process. The paper concludes by arguing that the different sign systems present in video games are integral to the player’s understanding of the game, and should be considered as aspects that can be translated. Parallels are also drawn between the translation process and the medium of the video game, to show that different approaches to translation can provide the audience with a more holistic view of a work.


First Advisor

Bruce P Baird

Second Advisor

Amanda C Seaman