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Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games: A Lexical Approach to The Sims 4 Psychological Simulation

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From the perspective of Game Localization (Bernal-Merino 2015, O’Hagan and Mangiron 2013), this paper presents a descriptive corpus-assisted study on the language of personality in The Sims 4 (Electronic Arts 2014), as the psychological dimension of this real-life simulation game represents its distinctive feature (Franklin 2014, Electronic Arts 2014a). The elaborate nature of The Sims 4 personality trait system has received academic attention, since its mechanics seem to be based on trait theory (Sloan 2015, 209), “a major approach to the study [and assessment] of human personality” in psychology (Villanueva 2010, vii). Accordingly, this paper analyzes how psychological simulation is worded in game texts and examines the features of The Sims 4 cross-linguistic personality lexicon. The original English trait system is thus compared with the Italian translation in order to explore the linguistic challenges and issues psychological customization poses to localization professionals.
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
Silvia Pettini
Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games:
A Lexical Approach to The Sims 4 Psychological Simulation
Abstract


in The Sims 4          
    
The elaborate nature of The Sims 4



examines the features of The Sims 4





  
    
     
         


        


Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games


 The Sims
 






       




            
The Sims 4


The Sims




The increase in player engagement recorded by The Sims 4


   The Sims 1 More relevantly for
            
2 The process
-

The Sims 4


The Sims 4



and commercial success of The Sims


3
            
linguistic and translational aspects of The Sims 4  
because the psychological dimension of simulation represents the special

   The Sims 4      

regarding the psycholexical approach in personality psychology (Ashton

4

and explores the linguistic features of The Sims 4 personality lexicon in the
    


        




The Sims have been

-
similitude of personality psychology in the game mechanics or of personality traits in The
Sims 4
-

-

-
chologists on natural languages and dictionaries in developing personality traits prompted


Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
The Sims 4 personality system
The Sims          
           
    


The Sims
 
could enthusiastically embrace a game based on the simulation of emotions


       

The Sims 4  The Sims  
     
The Sims5 The game has the

characters in order to simulate everyday life experiences (Bittanti and Flanagan





The Sims
 
 


           


The Sims 4
-


The Sims 4



The Sims 4





 
 
The Sims 4
        
          



Aspirations are lifelong goals for the Sims and there are ten broad
       
        


        








          


Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
         

         

          
      



The complex nature of The Sims 4 personality system has attracted academic
 


The Sims 4



customization system of The Sims 4    
        
    
          
  
investigating such a complex psychological entity like personality on the basis

by denition


  


et al.



           
       






         
has presumably been a source of inspiration for The Sims 4 game designers
      

         
descriptive attributes that can be found in the dictionaries of a language and
        



order to arrive at full and comprehensive tabulations of all lingual expressions

   
        
        
          







6-




Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
-
ant personality attributes should have a corresponding term in virtually every

   
bottom-up by exploiting the lexicon of the language of that culture and by
  


       



-
7

A more in-depth discussion about this reference model of personality
          

explore the linguistic and translational challenges of personality customization
in The Sims 4    

specifying that the notion of a crosscultural or universal nature of personality
         

8

The psychological dimension of simulation in The Sims 4 English original texts




et al.


9







 



The Sims 4 English personality traits




-
-


Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
nouns used to name personality traits comprise simple and derived forms like
        



   
    
        
  





  

odia i bambiniama l’aria aperta

The Sims 4       
          
the sense that they depend on the particular characteristics of this translation







Given the gender-customizable nature of The Sims 4





     
 
        


         



perfetto padrone di casaperfetta padrona di casa




 Perfect host 

not all the strings are gender-marked because there may be gender-neutral

as collezionistainfantilesnob

benvenuto
perenne     sim mattiniero    
benvenuto and mattiniero

some neutral solutions and therefore the lack of gender-variable tags are not

            
          
          
The Sims 4 makes large use of tooltips


Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
   


          
The Sims 4
for in-game descriptions to be retrieved in the game database and some pieces
 
10


           

           
          


           
 
  

emerge: the very informal nature in terms of register and its semantic male-


     

gender-customizable nature of The Sims 411

-

  

The Sims 4 is

-



translators appropriately provided a gender-variable and neutral solution like
seduttoreseduttrice


The Sims 4 trait system also means dealing



features that are typical of The Sims 4

    


         

The Sims 4 English personality lexicon

Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games


          
ability of English to create meaning-packed constructions or to express a





          
          
 folleparsimonioso or parsimoniosa for

 



       

into the semantically superordinate attraente
       senza preoccupazioni 
senza vergogna
         
spensierato/aspudorato/asfacciato/a
svergognato/asfrontato/a
         


  amante della famiglia
    doti sociali    
sapienza aaristica
longevo/a
 instancabile   
poco famelico/a
and the masculine-generic benvenuto perenne

famelico
[ravenous] instead of aamato [hungry] and perenne [perennial] instead of
the adverb sempre
benvenuto perenne        
since perennebenvenuto
          


 abile a baciare veloce a
imparareriessivo/a
   baciatore for
meditatore

more common but still unusual solutions like pulitore or pulitrice veloce for
tormentatore or tormentatrice





ambizioso/a
indipendente romantico/a 
     






rendered into socievole and not into gregario




Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games

translated into sguardo acuto      osservante

         
         
memorabile

         

         





          
   12 dream of becoming the



          

    compagno    compagna   




     
into compagno di vita

-
           






          
           

        
translated are topo di bibliotecatesta calda
animale notturnopollice verdissimo
          
    vescica d’acciaio    chef della
freschezzatranquillità del pescatore
mania ginnica
         
         

  





           
antisettico/a   






    
           

Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
       

informality by generalizing or specifying the meaning or they may tone the

amicone and amicona13
and scansafatiche professionista Sciatto/a

           
            
related characteristics of a person and does not necessarily convey the idea of
          
 smanettone or smanettona  
           
       
   smanettone          
          

smanettone


The Sims franchise

translation play in the commercial and cultural success of this subgenre at

      

        
           






          


As regards The Sims 4
          
         
         


The
Sims 4   

Further research is thus essential in order to provide the full picture of
    

        





Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games
Bibliography
         
Psychological Monographs
  Individual Dierences and Personality   

Translation and Localisation in Video Games. Making
Entertainment Software Global

  The Hindu  
th-anniversary-

     The Sims: Similitudini, Simboli &
Simulacri        

           
descrizione della personalità: estendibilità al contesto italiano” [The role of
    
Communicazioni Scientiche di Psicologia Generale
        

European Journal of Personality

Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology
    
  


The Praeger Handbook of Personality across Cultures

  Revised NEO Personality Inventory
(NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) Professional Manual

         


The Praeger Handbook of Personality across Cultures


Big Five Assessment

         
 
Giornale italiano
di psicologia
      The Linguist    


        

        





Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games

   


MultiLingual
YouTube
ZU
 Game
Studies. The International Journal of Computer Game Research

        
 Review of Personality and Social
Psychology          

On Personality
Perspectives on Localization

          
Handbook of Personality Psychology

Personality Traits

     The Game
Localization Handbook



Information,
Communication & Society
Game Localization. Translating
for the Global Digital Entertainment Industry 

          
The Philadelphia Inquirer
       

mcgonigal-

        
Language for Specic Purposes: Research and Translation
across Cultures and Media

         Mass Eect
3   Linguistic and Cultural Representation in Audiovisual
Translation

        
        
  The Routledge Handbook of Translation, Feminism and
Gender    

  Comparing Italian and English: An Introduction  


BBC

Languaging and Translating Personality in Video Games

Entertainment Weekly 
coronavirus-videogames-industry-impact
         
 The Five-Factor Model of
Personality: Theoretical Perspectives    

The Guardian
   
land-of-make-believe-life-after-the-sims-video-games-computers
 Players Unleashed! Modding The Sims and the Culture of
Gaming
Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media

          
  USA Today    


           
    CNBC    

covid-
        

Applied Psychology Bulletin
     Personality Traits: Classications, Eects
and Changes   




The Oxford Handbook of the Five Factor Model

 
Insider-
coronavirus-video-recreating-the-coronavirus-crisis--
Gameography
The Sims
The Sims 4
Silvia Pettini has a Doctor Europaeus     
           


Article
Random build challenges became a trend among Sims YouTubers in April 2020 following Vixella's The Sims 4 but every room is a different pack. This mode of gameplay incorporates computerized randomizers to make building decisions and represent the challenges and risks associated with aleatory invention (Holmes, 2016, Lauer, 2016, Leadon, 2011, Vitanza, 2000). However, these challenges and risks emerge partly from material agency. To explore this phenomenon, I herein use Jane Bennett's (2010) vital materiality as a theoretical lens to examine random build challenges. Central to Bennett's theory is vitality, an agentive quality of both human and nonhuman materials that yields an effect—or in some cases affect—on other materials involved. Through examining three examples from popular Sims 4 YouTubers, Plumbella's random pack build; Lilsimsie's random townie build; and finally LaurenZSide's random meme build, this article demonstrates how player, game, and randomizer vitalities collaborate, compete, and co-exist. In addition to the videos serving as examples of aleatory building processes, random build challenges pose opportunities for experienced composers to implement new approaches in response to aleatory elements that can be adapted to other composing settings.
Book
This book explores the impact of a video game’s degree of realism or fictionality on its linguistic dimensions, investigating the challenges and strategies for translating realia and irrealia, the interface of the real world and the game world where culture-specificity manifests itself. The volume outlines the key elements in the translation of video games, such as textual non-linearity, multitextuality, and playability, and introduces the theoretical framework used to determine a game’s respective degree of realism or fictionality. Pettini applies an interdisciplinary approach drawing on video game research and Descriptive Translation Studies to the linguistic and translational analysis of in-game dialogues in English-Italian and English-Spanish language pairs from a corpus of three war video games. This approach allows for an in-depth look at the localization challenges posed by the varying degree of realism and fictionality across video games and the different strategies translators employ in response to these challenges. A final chapter offers a comparative analysis of the three games and subsequently avenues for further research on the role of culture-specificity in game localization. This book is key reading for students and scholars interested in game localization, audiovisual translation studies, and video game research.
Article
Full-text available
Keywords: Substantial agreement on a five factor structure - the so-called "Big Five" - to represent personality structure has been reached in these last years. Psycholexical studies in several countries have produced similar structures that nonetheless at a closer inspection reveal some cross-cultural instability, especially for some dimensions. One possible explanation for this instability is that often studies relied on different criteria to select variables. This hypothesis has been tested in this contribution by comparing two independent psycholexical studies conducted in Italy and based upon different selection procedures. Analyses have been performed on the common set and the specific sets of adjectives and comparing the factorial solutions to a marker Big Five measure. Results suggest that the factorial structures recovered in the two studies are highly similar but they do not match exactly to the Big Five. Differences in selection criteria did not influence the results, with the exception of the fifth factor (Mental Openness/Intellect).
Book
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In response to the growing research interest in game localization within and also outside Translation Studies, this book aims to inform readers about this specialized and dynamic professional area of practice. As well as seeking to stimulate further scholarly interest in this sub-domain, the book attempts to address the practical need of the industry for the systematic training of translators and local-izers, informed by contemporary translation theories. The game localization sector will benefit from well-structured resources for the training of new translators who may have competence in areas other than games, and thus need a specific focus on the gaming domain. Game localization is a dynamic field that is driven by technology, led by market demands and influenced by popular discourses on games, and therefore most up-to-date information sources can be found online, as we note in our literature review. However, it is time-consuming to find reliable online resources directly addressing pertinent issues relevant to specific training needs. Similarly, it is still relatively rare to come across the topic analyzed in the context of Translation Studies. In our observation, translation and localization issues have been peripheral in game-related topics addressed in academia, for example in Game Studies, and are often treated casually in an ad hoc rather than a systematic manner. This has led us to conclude that there is a need for a reliable and coherent monograph dedicated to conceptualizing this new sub-domain. To this end, this book is designed to serve as an introduction to the topic of game localization in Translation Studies. We have endeavoured to keep a balance between theoretical and practical dimensions in order to be relevant to target readers both in academia and in the industry. One of our ultimate goals is to use the subject of game localization as a launch pad from which to explore new horizons of Translation Studies by addressing the impact on translation of technological developments. In particular, localization and audiovisual translation (AVT) face a constant erosion of their mutual boundaries due to technological advances, although they are currently treated as separate domains within Translation Studies. Positioned as intermediaries in the globalization of an increasing range of digital media, these two domains are converging, as exemplified by the practice of game localization. Finally, building on the importance of the links between the
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While the earliest character representations in video games were rudimentary in terms of their presentation and performance, the virtual characters that appear in games today can be extremely complex and lifelike. These are characters that have the potential to make a powerful and emotional connection with gamers. As virtual characters become more intricate and varied, there is a growing need to examine the theory and practice of virtual character design. This book seeks to develop a series of critical frameworks to support the analysis and design of virtual characters. Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media covers a breadth of topics to establish a relationship between pertinent artistic and scientific theories and good character design practice. Targeted at students, researchers, and professionals, the book aims to show how both character presentation and character performance can be enhanced through careful consideration of underlying theory. The book begins with a focus on virtual character presentation, underpinned by a discussion of biological, artistic, and sociological principles. Next it looks at the performance of virtual characters, encompassing the psychology of emotion and personality, narrative and game design theories, animation, and acting. The book concludes with a series of applied virtual character design examples. These examples examine the aesthetics of player characters, the design and performance of the wider cast of game characters, and the performance of characters within complex, hyperreal worlds.
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This book is a multidisciplinary study of the translation and localisation of video games. It offers a descriptive analysis of the industry understood as a global phenomenon in entertainment and aims to explain the norms governing present industry practices, as well as game localisation processes. Additionally, it discusses particular translation issues that are unique to the multichannel nature of video games, in which verbal and nonverbal signs must be cohesively combined with interactivity to achieve maximum playability and immerse players in the games virtual world. Although positioned within the theoretical framework of descriptive translation studies, Bernal-Merino incorporates research from audiovisual translation, software localisation, computer assisted translation, comparative literature, and video game production. Moving beyond this framework, Translation and Localisation in Video Games challenges some of the basic tenets of translation studies and proposes changes to established and unsatisfactory processes in the video game and language services industries.
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An experiment was arranged whereby all three judges independently classified into the four selected columns 300 representative words, drawn from the total list according to a principle of representative distribution. The results of this study may be expressed in percentages of the total number of terms that each pair of judges assigned to identically the same columns. Taking only the instances where all three judges agree, we find 141 words or 47 per cent of the list, whereas 6.25 per cent represents the chance expectation. Examining this average agreement more closely we next determine the peculiarities of each individual judge when his placements are compared with those of the other two judges. This analysis calls attention to perhaps the principal source of unreliability, namely the tendency of each judge to have a mental set of "leniency" favoring the inclusion of marginal or doubtful terms in one column rather than another. Four outside judges selected 130 of the 300 terms as strange and unfamiliar to them. The agreement of the three editors for this group of terms averaged only 45 per cent, as against 47 per cent for the total list, and 48 per cent for the remaining 170 more familiar terms. Apparently established usage and familiarity enhances but slightly the reliability of the placement.