ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A man walks past an image titled 'Leah Close-up' from the game 'Diablo III' selected for the 2012 collection of Into The Pixel, an Exihbition on the Art of the Video Game. AFP photo
The Turkish gaming industry has greatly advanced since the first-ever Turkish game "Hançer"(Dagger) was programmed two decades ago.
An increasing number of games have been adapted for Turkish players over the years by adding Turkish teams to popular football games or translating game menus into Turkish.
Today, games are being made to appease to Turkish consumers from the bottom-up: Turkish voice acting, in-game directions, cultural elements, characters and locations familiar to Turkish players are being incorporated into games in the programming phase as companies try to secure a share of the video game market, which has become a global industry of more than $70 billion.
The game "Zombie-Rock," for instance, features the Turkish rock band Manga, which has represented Turkey in the Eurovision song contest. Gamers play the game as Manga rocks out on a stage, featuring music from their albums.
The voice acting is being taken seriously as well. Theater and cinema actor Yetkin Dikinciler provides the voiceovers for the strategy game "Genghis Khan."
Another development features the addition of a Turkish character to a first-person-shooting (FPS) game. Capt. Yiğit Demir, a fictitious soldier from the Turkish elite special forces "Maroon Berets" was added to a game after a survey found out that players preferred to play as members of police special force and elite soldier characters in games.
Locations that are familiar to young Turkish players were also being added to online multiplayer games. One of these locations is the popular Taksim Square in Istanbul. Panoramic and 360-degree digital photos of Taksim Square were taken and programmed into a multiplayer game.