Yesterday I came across a beautiful piece of a story in the form of a language-independent short movie, and that got me thinking. How often do we see good language-independent storytelling?
Most of the time we depend on either written text or narratives/monologues/dialogues spoken out loud to have a story and all of it’s nuances conveyed to us. The issue there is that, whenever we either write or say something, we are binding our thoughs to a specific language, and that is one really restrictive way of doing things. Not everyone speaks the same language, and not everyone is willing to learn english (the closest to what most people think of as a “universal language”) to be able to communicate and absorb all the culture that is made available to us on a daily basis both on and off of the internet.
Now, I’m not saying that therefore writing and speaking are inferior forms of storytelling, but unless you have wide access to translators (or your fans are willing to translate your work for you), you are pretty much restricting people’s access to the knowledge and message you want to pass on. The same applies to this blog: by writing in english and not providing a competent effort of translation, I am restricting people’s access to the ideas shared here. That saddens and motivates me to find a way of fixing this issue at least for what I consider to be the main form of art that I work with: games.
As you probably have figured by now, this is a follow-up to my previous post on non-textual communication in games. This is a wildly important idea, simply because while the world we live in allows people from different localities, cultures, social status and whatnot to communicate freely, one can see we are still struggling with the hurdle that is the differences in language.
For now, I would love to find some examples of great games that are not bound by language in any way (I might have some on my game library, although I can’t really access it right now). Any thoughs, people?