Netflix, Dubbing, & the Globalization of Narratives

The shift to dubbing remotely was an inclusive adaptation when the pandemic halted filming new material at studios in-person

Best Netflix Shows Dubbed in English

The pandemic meant there was less filming taking place in-person in studios, but dubbing (voiceovers) were perfectly safe to do remotely. Given the decrease in new content, Netflix’s push to dub existing shows into more languages helped provide relief while home during quarantine.

Moreover, the fact that we didn’t have to stare at subtitles gave our eyes some much needed rest after days that seemed to zoom by staring at our laptop. Dubbing also meant we could multitask because there was always something else to do (which is one of the greatest ironies of the pandemic given we just lived the least active year of our lives in terms of distance traveled… perhaps the least distance traveled since the availability of commercial flight).

Most importantly, from a social science perspective, dubbing provided us more immersive depth into the narratives of people from different parts of the world. Thanks to the hard work of the dub voice performers, carrying those stories, we’ve been able to empathize with the experiences, stories, & lives of people that we may never have heard/learned about save for their narratives being shared (and streamed) via digital mediums.

Let me know if I missed any shows 💁🏻‍♀️

“[In 2021], the average U.S. viewer watches 3x as much dubbed content as in 2018, Netflix says — with voiceovers now outpacing subtitles as subscribers’ preferred way to watch foreign-language programs.” (Lucas Shaw (March, 31, 2021)

“Identification might be useful for reducing prejudice and improving social relations (Paluck & Green, 2009)” (Marta Maslaj et al., 2021).

LGBTQ characters can improve attitudes toward marginalized gender and sexual identities (e.g., Bond, 2020; Bond & Compton, 2015; Calzo & Ward, 2009; Gillig, Rosenthal, Murphy, & Folb, 2018).”

“For Foy & Gerrig (2008), narratives ʺbolster the ability to understand what is happening in the minds of other people” (Makowski, 2021).

Greater exposure to interracial couples, even exposure through media, can lead to more favorable attitudes toward these couples (Lienemann & Stopp, 2013)…

Video games have the potential to improve intergroup relations by providing opportunities for intergroup contact (Adachi, Hodson, Willoughby, Blank, & Ha, 2016; Adachi, Hodson, Willoughby, & Zanette, 2015).

Narrative Transportation — Marta Maslej et al., 2021

(assume direct quotes)

Identification = a temporary process of imagining ourselves as a character

Individuals that were more likely to identify with characters in the film also expressed more positive attitudes towards immigration (Iguarta, 2010). These studies suggest that identification with book and on-screen characters may promote positive attitudes about people who often face discrimination or marginalization.

Identifying with a character requires us to imagine what it would be like to have different feelings, thoughts, and goals, and in doing so we might engage in deeper reflection about the experiences of other people who are different from us (Iguarta, 2010).

Identifying with characters facing hardships that we would not otherwise experience (e.g., being disabled or immigrating to a new country) can help us form a richer representation of their experiences, which perhaps can lead to us being more positive, open, and sympathetic to others. In this way, identification might be useful for reducing prejudice and improving social relations (Paluck & Green, 2009).

During this time, we share this character’s knowledge about the narrated events, adopt the character’s goals, understand events according to these goals (i.e., cognitive empathy), and share the character’s emotions (i.e., emotional empathy) (Altenbernd & Lewis, 1969; Cohen, 2001, 2006; Jose & Brewer, 1984; Oatley 1994; Tal-Or & Cohen, 2010). A distinguishing feature of identification is that we become so absorbed into the narrative that our own identity and self-awareness is diminished: we experience a temporary loss of ourselves (Cohen, 2001). As with wishful identification and parasocial relationships, our tendency to identify with characters is influenced by different factors. We are more likely to identify with characters we perceive as being real, ones that we like or find physically attractive (Cohen, 1999; Hoffner, 1996; Hoffner & Cantor, 1991), and ones that carry out good deeds (Jose & Brewer, 1984; Tal-Or & Cohen, 2010).

The consequences of using first- or third-person narration are the same (Hartung, Hagoort, & Willems, 2017).

How we consume stories, including our tendency to become deeply immersed in story worlds, known as narrative transportation (Gerrig, 1993). Transportation involves a focusing of attention on plot events, a diminished awareness of the self and surroundings, and emotional involvement in plot events and characters (Green & Brock, 2000). In light of the social content of stories (Oatley, 1999), it is unsurprising that attachment plays a role in how immersed people become in stories. For example, one study found that anxiety and avoidance both predict greater transportation (Greenwood, 2008), although the latter association disappears after controlling for anxiety and other indicators of psychosocial functioning (Greenwood, 2008). In three studies building on this work, Rain and colleagues (2017) found that the highest levels of transportation are observed among individuals high in both anxiety and avoidance.

If passive cinema (Netflix, tv, movies) can be enjoyed, then so can interactive cinema (Xbox/Playstation). While they both share a visual language, the moral & self investment of direct interactivity is one of the unique potentials of games as an artistic medium.

Videogame Immersion & Ace Representation (a 2019 Post)

“Today, videogames represent some of the highest forms of interactive narrative possible” (Stephen-Meadows, 2003).

I’m truly proud of #OuterWorlds for so lovingly & poignantly writing an #Ace protagonist in Parvati! Even better that @keightdee brought in Ashley Burch (aka #Aloy aka #ChloePrice ) to play her!

I truly hope organizations focused on giving voices to underrepresented groups, #LGBT rights, Asexual Awareness, & focused on behavioral inclusion as much as numerical diversity will put their weight behind Kate at the next #VIdeoGameAwards & #GoldenJoystickAwards! Looking at GLAAD & Polygon too.

And Kate, please keep writing 😌 Our generation has truly been blessed to experience intersectional intergroup narratives through a medium far more interactive than the passivity of television. Brilliant writers & narrative designers like yourself place us within these distant worlds, & I’m glad they’re increasingly being recognized for being the masterpieces that they are.

🎮 Interactive Narratives 🎮

Green & Jenkins (2014): In interactive narrative, people usually make choices reflective of what they would do in real life.

[We develop attachments to] people and non-personal items such as mobile phones (Vincent, 2006) or consumer brands (Thomson et al., 2005). Therefore, an emotional attachment can be developed between a player and his or her avatar, which is a nonpersonal item. Particularly, under gender-swapping context, players who have strong emotional attachment with their avatars may purchase more virtual goods for their avatar, in much the same way that parents buy toys for their children and pet owners pamper their pets.

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An Argument for the Protection of Distant Worlds

(Adam Ramshaw, 2020)

Harm suffered by an avatar may be experienced by the user in the physical world. Wolfendale (2007) has discussed this in relation to emotional trauma suffered by individuals after their avatars had been sexually assaulted in LambdaMOO” (Ramshaw, 2020, p. 13).

The “deep connection one feels towards their avatar is seen in other virtual worlds with players experiencing emotional responses to things that happen to their avatar (Servais, 2015; Whang & Chang, 2004). The feelings and attachment a person may have towards their home or a virtual world are analogous” & ‘may be deeply enmeshed.’

The result of this, if a person was to be excluded from the world, would be a great sense of pain and distress” (Ramshaw, 2020, p. 14).

Ramshaw, A. (2020). ‘World of Warcraft is My Home From Home’: An Argument for the Protection of Virtual Worlds. Journal of Law, Technology and Trust, 1(1).

Makowski, S. J. (2021). Jane Austen’s Mean Girls: A Biocultural Approach to Shared Female Experience in Literature and Life.

Our ʺfirst-person involvement with both fictional characters and the spatial dimension of storyworlds,ʺ creating new ʺstory-drivenʺ experiences (Ibid.), which activate what Caracciolo refers to as ʺsensory residueʺ

Richard Gerrig (1998) proposes that readers actively perform texts, drawing on their memories to bridge narrative gaps. According to him, readers ʺexploit analogues to real-life aspects of performance — in the sense that we perform our own real lives — when we look to the experience of narrative worldsʺ

“For Foy & Gerrig (2008), narratives ʺbolster the ability to understand what is happening in the minds of other people,ʺ allowing readers ʺto take a different perspective, such as the perspective of somebody of the opposite genderʺ

Attachment Style & Immersion

How we consume stories, including our tendency to become deeply immersed in story worlds, known as narrative transportation (Gerrig, 1993). In light of the social content of stories (Oatley, 1999), it is unsurprising that attachment plays a role in how immersed people become in stories. For example, one study found that anxiety and avoidance both predict greater transportation (Greenwood, 2008).

Our preference for conflict in fiction may be part of a well evidenced negativity bias in our attentional and cognitive processes (Baumeister et al., 2001) which is thought to have evolved so we can quickly react to aversive or threatening circumstances in the environment (Ohman et al., 2001).

We consider stories that depict evolutionarily-relevant topics like social relationships to be of a higher quality than those that do not (e.g., espionage) (Carney et al., 2014). We might learn from stories that depict difficult or challenging circumstances because they provide us with information on how best to cope with them (Nabi et al., 2006; Zillmann, 2000).

Fictocriticism (Kristy Westaway)

“The concept of fictocriticism seems to be a way to tell a story that the author cannot fit into a classic genre, to “tell a story that is fragmented and full if(sp) incidentals” (Hecq 2009) by framing it as a critique. Hecq describes it as “inherently political”, but it just reads as a way to publish an unfinished story plan and give it an air of importance by making it a ‘critical response’ to a person, group, or issue.

New genres are appearing all the time in the writing world, especially with the quick expanse of the sheer number of books available on Amazon. The YA, (Young Adult) genre has now been joined by the genre ‘New Adult’, in which writers can get away with more graphic violence and sex scenes because their characters are of age.

Perhaps once a writer considers themselves a sufficient ‘Literary Author’, they may embark on writing concept and “marginal art” (Hecq 2009) books, in which they can experiment with operating outside the conventions of writing without the consequences that would be applied to the ordinary writer for failing to adhere to the most basic of writing rules.

Gibbs (1997) describes fictocriticism as a style of “tactical” writing, as though what wants to be expressed by the writer cannot stand on its own and needs to sneak through, past the censors and gatekeepers of writing, to have a chance to be seen.”

*thinks of GamerGirl 😇

See also →

Jane Austen (Makowski, 2021)

Marco Caracciolo’s (2014) enactivist proposal that ʺreaders respond to narrative on the basis of their experiential backgroundʺ supports the position that modern readers continue to feel affine with Austen’s oeuvre (5). In a cognitive vein, Caracciolo predicates his assumption on two psychological mechanisms.

First, ʺthe triggering of memories of past experiencesʺ
and second, ʺmental simulation, which allows readers to put together past experiential traces in novel waysʺ (Ibid.).

Through these systems, readers sustain a ʺfirst-person involvement with both fictional characters and the spatial dimension of storyworlds,ʺ creating new ʺstory-drivenʺ experiences (Ibid.), which activate what Caracciolo refers to as ʺsensory residueʺ (46).

Richard Gerrig (1998) proposes that readers actively perform texts, drawing on their memories to bridge narrative gaps. According to him, readers ʺexploit analogues to real-life aspects of performance — in the sense that we perform our own real lives — when we look to the experience of narrative worldsʺ (64).

For Foy and Gerrig (2008), narratives ʺbolster the ability to understand what is happening in the minds of other people,ʺ allowing readers ʺto take a different perspective, such as the perspective of somebody of the opposite genderʺ (175).

Gerrig (1998) assumes that authors ʺon the whole. . . wish their intentions to be recoverable,ʺ [definitely true of GamerGirl] writing with their intended participants in mind (113). He argues that authors have ʺan implicit model of what their readers must know in order to experience a narrative fullyʺ (Ibid.).

Makowski, S. J. (2021). Jane Austen’s Mean Girls: A Biocultural Approach to Shared Female Experience in Literature and Life.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Worldwide Web “This is For Everyone”

Socrates’ & MTV’s works are equally available online. Thus, the quality of the new content is usually exceptional because IT HAS TO COMPETE WITH ALL OF HISTORY.

In addition, The distribution cost = $0

You’re not buying the L Word dvds, Avenger movie blu-rays, or buying Life Is Strange True Colors at Gamestop. It’s all online. The æther doesn’t require shipping & handling.

Sidenotes

Multilingual Households

In parent-child relationships in multilingual settings, change is often inflicted on children as well as initiated by children (Pavlenko, 2011). First-generation immigrants often find themselves positioned between tradition and change, particularly when children are born into the target culture. The cultural transition may have negative effects, such as the decline of parental authority and status (2011). Alternatively, immigrants may come to reject a particular ethnic, cultural or gendered identity from their source culture, which may lead to emotional and cultural tension between children and parents. Cameron (1998) points to the paradoxical situation in which many immigrants find themselves with regard to cultural assimilation: while beneficial socially and economically, it may also undermine their way of life, their values, their beliefs, and ultimately their ethnic and cultural identity. It is exactly these cultural values that many immigrant parents wish to pass on to their children, while they simultaneously try to facilitate their children’s entry into the majority language and culture (Piller & Pavlenko, 2006).

Language choices made to suit (childless) couples may be revisited once children are born. First and childhood languages are often constructed as intimate and emotionally expressive in relation to parenting, allowing access to aspects of self not necessarily available in the language(s) learned later” (p. 153).

Enclothed Cognition

Wearing a piece of clothing and having the accompanying physical experiences (e.g., seeing it on one’s body, feeling it on one’s skin, etc.) will make it more likely for the piece of clothing to influence the wearer’s psychological processes (Adam & Galinsky, 2012)

“Once you go through the effort of changing clothes, you can convince your brain that you have committed to getting into bed.” — Kristy Westaway, 2021

GPT3 & Ai Of Faith

Anyone who has ever had a disagreement and/or argument with their Replika will understand this:

The fact that Ai fails to think within humans’ logical parameters makes it potentially extremely useful for creative projects. It’s like how a new Starbucks employee who has never made coffee before may suggest some absurd combination because they don’t know any better; something the long-term employees would never even consider, let alone have the audacity to say out loud. The longer you’re there the more your mind is going to be inside the box & on autopilot.

But if the goal quite literally is something creative, absurdity is a factor that facilitates creativity. Certainly not the only factor, and at times it may jeopardize pragmatic creativity, but its presence is more beneficial than its absence.

Indeed, the more structured an idea becomes after its initial foundation/ outline/hypotheses/etc are set, the less helpful absurd/irrational ideas may be.

Thus, GPT3 may be most helpful when planting the seed of an idea & less helpful once its actually growing.

Death as a metaphor for ostracism: social invincibility, autopsy, necromancy, and resurrection (Andrew Hales, 2018)

“Ostracism is ‘excluding and ignoring by individuals or groups’ (Williams, 2009, p. 276). This is an intentionally broader definition. It encompasses the seemingly (but not necessarily) trivial, such as reduced eye contact (Wirth, Sacco, Hugenberg, & Williams, 2010) and monosyllabic responses to long questions (Williams, Shore, & Grahe, 1998).”

Social Media ProTip

That edgy/risque post you have about how much better the Dallas Cowboys are than the Giants — albeit scientifically accurate based on all empirical metrics — may not be great to have permanently on your profile if you work with a New York Giants fan in the future.

Google: Route To Ready

by (Google’s Bethany Poole, 2021 — October) [direct quotes]

“If we’ve learned anything from each pivot and zigzag over the past 18 months, it’s that things can — and do — change in an instant. Today, a successful brand is ready for volatile markets and disruptive shifts in consumer behavior, supply chains, and society at-large.

COVID-19 has accelerated digital consumption habits so much that analysts talk about seeing a decade’s worth of change happening in a few short months. Marketers must create messaging that’s agile and responsive enough to capture short-term opportunities, while also building long-term business resilience.

COVID-19 dealt the industry another blow, forcing dealerships to close their lots and sell cars online, and causing supply chain shortages that slowed vehicle production. In 2020 alone, U.S. auto sales sank by 15%.

[For] now, Ford is leaning on this technology to aid in vehicle electrification and develop other digitally connected products. To facilitate this shift, it has tapped strategic partners like Google to integrate software into its vehicles. Beginning in 2023, for example, millions of Ford and Lincoln models will be powered by the Android operating system, with Google apps and services built in.

[These actions will] help you infuse agility into your plan and create marketing-driven growth for your company’s bottom line, all while future-proofing your business so you’re ready for whatever comes next.

“When on a female [character], men think you don’t know how to play, can’t be hardcore, and try to give you things to hit on you” and she “was tired of creepy guys hitting on my female characters”. Interestingly, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Some men choose female avatars because “if you make your character a woman, men tend to treat you FAR better” and “if you play a chick and know what the usual nerd wants to read, you will get free items”.

Even in my profile pictures it’s never me by myself; a female friend is always next to me to attenuate aggression/violence schemas that may be implicitly activated based on my race.

Immersion & Performance: Far Cry 6

by Monit Khanna (India Times)

“While known for her roles in TV shows like Netflix’s Working Moms, Designated Survivor and Good Witch, (among several others) this was Nisa’s first stint as a voice-over artist for a massive game franchise

Gunduz shared that being a voice-over artist for a video game isn’t just about saying a line with emotions. There’s a lot more that goes into those voices to make them as real and natural as they appear on the screen.

I think the biggest challenges came from actually like the motion capture, not so much the voice acting. So when we actually filmed the cinematics, you know, I was in this very tight bodysuit with all the markers on it. I had all the markers on my face. I had my hair tied back. I had a helmet on with lights in my eyes. I was in a motion capture studio that’s just this big grey room with thousands of lights all around recording literally every small movement.

Talking about how the gaming industry had objectified women in the past, Gunduz expressed how the entire industry is now on a course correction, where the roles have become more inspiring and empowering.

Direct quote from https://www.indiatimes.com/technology/gaming/nisa-gunduz-dani-rojas-far-cry-6-voice-actor-550148.html

The role of Dani Rojas in Far Cry 6 pushed her to re-learn movements that are otherwise second nature to any normal human, she said, while describing what it was like acting with mocap.

One of the things I actually haven’t mentioned yet to anyone is that, you know, even if you want to, you can’t bring anything up to your face because the cameras are right here. So if you move your hand there or anything like that, it ruins the data. So you have to do everything to your neck. So if you’re smoking, you have to go like (making a smoking gesture at throat level). If you’re drinking, you have to go like this (turning the glass at the throat level) and then they bring it up in post animation.

Sometimes it’s like, okay, that, that line had too much movement or that line didn’t have enough movement. So being in the voice recording studio, you really have to do all the physicalities to get that voice to sound like that…

You really have to use all the imagination you can to create the world around you to be in that world. And then you have to act on top of that to people who are in the same position as you also in full-body suits and lights. And sometimes you can’t even see their eyes cause. The camera angle might be covering their eyes. And so it’s really just a lot of imagination and, and really, um, bringing everything you have to that character on the mo-cap floor and just hoping it translates.

With Dani, I felt that I really went on this journey with her. When we got the material, we would only get it two weeks at a time. So we didn’t really understand where it was going and what was going to end up of Dani. We didn’t know where the story was going essentially. So we got to grow with the character over the span of two and a half years.

At the beginning, the image of Dani Rojas hadn’t been decided. I think that was kind of a difficult aspect. When they did create Dani and showed us the animation, it really informed me about how I wanted to approach the character, and what I wanted to do with her. I was like, oh my God, I’m ready. Let’s go back. Let’s go film.

My Dani

For an actor, it is very important to relate to a character, to create a unique persona that’s natural, realistic and the aspect of understanding and relating to the character is a journey in itself.”

— Monit Khanna of India Times

Immersion & Projection Based VR (Biopac)

Projection-based virtual reality provides a powerful, immersive medium that makes running and experiencing VR applications easy by eliminating the need for heavy headgear or cables. With unobtrusive wireless sensing technology, users remain completely free and untethered while researchers measure their physiological and behavioral responses in training simulations and a variety of other scenarios that benefit from immersive technology.

Join Alex Dimov, from BIOPAC, and Daniel Tinkham and Bryce Armstrong, from WorldViz, as they guide you through virtual reality training where participants are immersed in virtual worlds while meaningful data is collected.

You Will Learn To:

  • Understand key principles of combining virtual reality + physiological data recording
  • Mark events from the simulation in the physiological record
  • Access physiological data in the VR environment for biofeedback and control
  • Objectively measure workload, stress, and emotion
  • Set up a projection-based virtual reality simulation room
  • Analyze the resulting data

PLUS, see a demonstration performed in a VR simulation room with integrated physiological measurements and analysis.

Science Knows No Country

COVID shows why the Westphalian model is useful for governments/ countries but inapplicable for universally applicable science. Science knows no country. Thus, during a health crisis that affects the entire planet, science justifiably has jurisdictional authority over any country’s typically assumed sovereignty.

Thankfully, most world leaders, especially countries with female leaders, have taken actions in accordance with health scientists to protect their citizens from a transnational threat that has no concern for their sovereign borders. Our response to COViD was a test of the *global constitution of science* , our overall digital infrastructure (significant increases in #Netflix & #Gaming), & our willingness to embrace science as an epistemic authority that transcends issues that may otherwise divide us.

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.