Monday, June 6, 2011

Learning Languages in Videogames

It is surprising that with the success of "edutainment" games like Oregon Trail, Math Blaster, Where in The Word is Carmen Santiago and the Jumpstart series; that there is not a bigger market for more games like these. I dream of the day someone will create a computer game that teaches calculus. Perhaps in an alternate dimension, where I have mastered calculus and programming, but that would also mean that there may be another alternate dimension in which I suck cock for crack rocks. Not cool man!

One of the things I have started doing is playing games I used to love, but this time they are in German. Most computer games already have a built in language setting to simply switch the language over to whatever you want. One of my favorite games to do this with is Civilization because there are so many different technologies, people, places, and phrases you get to learn while playing the game.

This is also a great thing to do on emulators. I really like playing old games from my childhood because I have an idea of what is being said, and it is easier to make inferences as to what new words might mean. It will make you feel like a genius! Try it out! Who hasn't played A Link To The Past at least thirty times? Any idea what is being said here?

Almost any rom site has the roms in different languages listed in brackets. However the only ones I know of are:
(U) Universal
(E) English
(G) or (D) German

Sometimes the rom with a [!] might be required, but I digress. Of course the only way you will learn anything is if you actually take the time and read the dialogue. If you have played through the particular game before, it is pointless to scroll through everything just because you know where the next dungeon is. On the other hand, if you want to try a new game, I suggest having a dictionary nearby or a translation website. Also I suggest finding games that tend to be text heavy, such as strategy games or RPGs. Good luck and have fun!


  1. Legend of Zelda is an awesome series.

  2. that is true.. video games and tv and you dont need to go to school for that

  3. Civilization was a crucial part of my childhood. I remember watching my older brothers play, while I sat, dejected, on the bed, because they didn't want me messing up their game.

  4. That sounds like such a good idea, I would've thought the market would be huge. Having said that, I suppose a lot of people would be learning English through means such as this already.