In recent years, the demand for providing subtitles for video games as increased. Without a doubt video games have come a long way in the last ten to twenty years; in fact if you look at a video game such as Space Raiders, not only have the graphics transformed, but also the complexity and interactivity of newer games. With this of course comes the question – “What can we do to make video games accessible to everyone?”
Video Game Accessibility and Video Game Subtitling Services
With the advanced graphics of video games, we have also seen an advancement in the storylines, speech and dialogue for video games. With the growing popularity of gaming, it is imperative they are inclusive; players with disabilities such as hearing loss or vision loss should be accommodated in order to enjoy the games as much as possible.
Video Game Closed Captioning Services and Subtitling
According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss (approximately 36 million are children). With such a vast number of the population affected by hearing loss, including subtitles for all video games in the form of closed captioning (to include off screen sounds imperative to the plot as well as dialogue) is imperative to ensure that play is as inclusive and enjoyable as possible.
Multilingual Subtitles for Video Games
It is important to note that subtitles for video games isn’t solely beneficial for those with hearing loss; it is also useful to all players. Video game voiceovers (or video dubbing) is of course used for many different languages but this also should include subtitles for the corresponding languages. Having video games translated, via voice over and subtitling is also imperative for optimum game play.
Subtitling Services for Video Games
Other advantages to having subtitles for video games includes the access to important information without having to listen to the entire dialogue, the ability to play a game with the sound off and to aid hearing when playing in a noisy environment.
Video Game Subtitling and Formatting Guidelines
As with all video and media subtitling services, video game subtitles should be easy to read and this means following some simple guidelines:
- Video game subtitles should be sized so as to be easy to read, not too big or too small.
- Video game subtitles should use a font colour and or background to ensure that they are easy to read.
- Video game subtitle service providers should ensure that the subtitles are timed so as to be on the screen long enough to read in full, but not too long so as to impact the flow of the game.
- Video game subtitles should be places in the ‘safe caption area’ of the 16:9 screen and ideally should display at the bottom of the screen (provided this is practical in terms of the on screen picture).
- Video game subtitles should be no longer than two lines, avoiding line breaks.
- When the speaker is unclear, the video game speaker should be identified within the caption line.
- Change of speaker should be indicated by colour.
- Total word count should be no more that 160-180 words per video minute in order to be easily read.
Video Game accessibility (Audio Description and Subtitling Services)
Here at Transcription City, we provide audio description services for video games as well as providing subtitling services for video games. If you would like to know more about the transcription services, translation services, subtitling services, closed captioning services or audio description services we offer for accessibility purposes, why not get in touch? We are always happy to discuss your individual needs and requirements to ensure that you get the service you need.
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