In our last post, we spoke all about the 4 pitfalls of Culturalization – History; Religion; Customs & Beliefs; Cultural/Ethnic Friction; and Geopolitical Perspectives. Now it’s time to discuss how you actually go about avoiding them.
4 top tips to avoiding cultural issues in your game
Build culturalization into the development cycle.
As you’re developing a new game, consider the perspectives of different cultures, ethnicities and religions and incorporate diversity and sensitivity from the beginning (or don’t – but don’t be surprised when there’s backlash!).
Gain awareness of your target culture by asking questions.
Request that your translators alert you of any potential offensive material or content that doesn’t carry the same nuances or connotations in the new language that it did in the original (another reason why in-country, native translators are valuable resources!).
Use in-country translators familiar with the gaming culture of your target audience.
Some cultures are more apt to shrug off material that doesn’t match up with their belief systems; others become militant; most are in between. But, even if the gamers in your target location aren’t sensitive to cultural differences, you’ll still want to tread lightly – it’s not the players but their governments, religious leaders and parents who often lead the charge against “offensive” content.
Decide between deal-breakers and “reasonable risks.” Remember: you don’t have to change anything about your game.
Any changes are at your discretion, though many developers are willing to alter potentially offensive material so their games appeal to wider audiences.