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Always game, Part I
From World of Warcraft to Whack the Penguin, online gaming is a global phenomenon. And slowly but surely, the Middle East is playing its part, reports Communicate magazine. Part I.
December 15, 2009 12:11 by Rania Habib
“We translated the whole game into Arabic, and we had to rewrite major parts of it. There were several things that had to do with Asian mythology, with gods fighting each other; so we changed that and turned it into nations fighting each other. Also, in a lot of these games, you have female characters wearing immodest clothing, which could cause problems in countries like Saudi Arabia, which is a major market. So the clothing is more modest.”
Mujahid draws a comparison between MMORPGs and more basic games like shooting games, and says that, while a gamer might play a shooting game for an hour or two, a MMORPG session could last two years, as gamers build the characters and complete missions.
“Also, in a shooting game, you don’t have to understand much of the story, you just shoot,” says Mujahid. “In an online game, you have to understand the story very well and follow missions in order to advance. If the contents of the game are alien to your culture, you might not enjoy living in that culture as much as if it were close to what you know.
“Another thing we noticed inside online games is the chats, where players socialize with each other. Some don’t even play the game; they’re just in the chat rooms. When we started our business, we found that players were chatting in Arabic, but using English letters. But with Arabic Rappelz now, gamers can chat in Arabic.”