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Get Involved with the IGDA Localization SIG!

6 Sep 2019

The IGDA Localization SIG (LocSIG) was created in 2007 to provide a focal point for the growing number of game localization professionals in order to build community and draw together best practices and processes. Among the many successes the LocSIG community has accomplished in the last decade, the following are just a few examples worth mentioning:

  • Successfully organizing activities at industry events. The most relevant effort is the program organization of the Localization Summit, a full-day conference held in cooperation with UBM and the Game Developers Conference. Held from 2009 to 2014, the Localization Summit attracted over 200 attendees every year thanks to presentations, panels, and case studies from developers, publishers, localization companies, and other game localization professionals.
  • Compiling the Game Localization Best Practices document – a “How To” guide for the translation and culturalization of game content. A true community effort, the document is a compilation of suggestions by LocSIG members with years of experience in the game localization field. The aim is to help newcomers learn the trade, as well as to offer insights into tricks and tips that even more experienced localization staff can adapt and apply to their future projects. The document has been created in early 2011 and republished in an updated version in English in 2012. Community members have also translated the document into Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese. Creating and running the LocJAM. Born as an idea of a SIG member, the LocJam is a free and non-competitive game translation contest, that can act as a showcase for videogame localization among students, young professional and developers. Started in 2014 with no budget, the LocJAM has been a resounding success, with four major editions (from English into Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) and one spin-off (from Japanese into English), hundreds of participants and dozens of workshops held worldwide, from Tokyo to Madrid, from Montevideo to Minsk. LocJAM organizers have even been asked to present the contest and its results at the #TranslatingEurope Forum, organized by the European Commission.

What’s next for the IGDA LocSIG?

As in most community efforts, charting a long-term plan for the group is challenging, But these are the relevant areas for the growth of the SIG:

  • Online presence. The SIG Facebook group has over 3,600 localization experts and interested parties. It’s a Closed group that needs to be moderated to avoid spam and blatant self-promotion. Other collaboration platforms like Slack and DIscord have been taken into consideration, but the group has never started the effort to move (or open a secondary channel) there. It’s important to re-evaluate the current communication tools and act accordingly.
  • Offline presence. The group has been organizing roundtables and meetups for years now. There is space for a bigger effort now, though. Another Localization Summit, an event at Gamescom or ChinaJoy, a one or two-day conference at GDC… The opportunities are endless.
  • Credits. A hot topic in the game localization industry. The IGDA has been tackling this topic for years now, even creating a dedicated SIG. Not much has changed for translators and, to a lesser degree, localization companies, whose name almost never appears in game credits. Liasing with the IGDA Developer Credit SIG, the Localization SIG could plan a dedicated effort to push for the recognition of the members of the group deserve.

Get Involved!

We can’t do it without you. Like all IGDA Chapters and Special Interest Groups, the IGDA LocSIG runs on the efforts of volunteers around the world; if you are interested in getting involved in the general leadership of the SIG, any of the efforts listed above, or with specific tasks, please reach out at chapsigdev-AT-igda-DOT-org.

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