Divine intervention: multimodal pragmatics and unconventional opposition in performed character speech in Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Villanueva, Emily
Ensslin, Astrid
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Benjamin Johns
Despite the fact that video games often take place in fictional worlds, the performed accents of game characters are very real reflections of the language ideologies of a game's creators and its indended audience. This chapter demonstrated how these ideologies are at play in the game world of Bio Ware's popular fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014), through its linguistic differentiation of two of its primary female characters. On many levels of representation the characters are presented as counter to one another; however both are linguistically othered from the majority of in-game characters by way of their accented English. Video games allow players a number of medium-specific affordances absent from other forms of media, such as agency and interactivity, which gives players the unique opportunity to shape their own narrative. Thus, using medium-specific multimodal discourse analysis and the concept of procedural rhetoric, this chapter examines the ways in which Leliana and Cassandra's accents participate in the construction of social and ideological meanins during gameplay, and how the dynamic, performative nature of gameplay affects players' perception of these characters.
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Multimodal pragmatics , Performed accents , Language ideologies in videogames , Dragon age
Villanueva, E., & Ensslin, A. (2021). Divine intervention: Multimodal pragmatics and unconventional opposition in performed character speech in Dragon Age: Inquisition. In G. Planchenault & L. Poljak (Eds.), Pragmatics of Accents (pp. 205-227). Benjamin Johns.