Divine intervention: Multimodal pragmatics and unconventional opposition in performed character speech in Dragon Age: Inquisition
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Original versionIn: Planchenault, G. & Poljak, L. (eds.), Pragmatics of Accents, 205-227. 10.1075/pbns.327.09vil
Videogames often take place in fictional worlds, yet the performed accents of game characters are real reflections of the language ideologies of a game’s creators and intended audience. This chapter demonstrates how these ideologies are at play in BioWare’s fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014), through its linguistic differentiation of two characters, Cassandra and Leliana. Although largely presented as counter to one another, both are othered from the majority of in-game characters by way of their accented English. Videogames contain unique, medium-specific affordances; thus, using multimodal discourse analysis and procedural rhetoric, this chapter examines how Cassandra and Leliana’s accents construct social and ideological meaning, and how the performative nature of gameplay affects players’ perception of these characters.
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