Using Gaming For Good: Immersion Learning | Fanboys Anonymous

Using Gaming For Good: Immersion Learning

Posted by Chris Locs Saturday, February 1, 2014
Hello, Fanboys! It's been quite a while since I have posted an article for you guys! My schedule has filled up exponentially over the past few months. It's been hard finding the time to think of an idea for an article, let alone write one. Today inspiration hit me, and ironically it was connected with one thing in particular that has been chewing up my time that would otherwise be devoted to Fanboys Anonymous: I'm learning a new language!

That's right folks, yours truly is learning German. I have been at it for slightly over a month at this point, studying a little every day with the aid of Rosetta Stone, which uses a combination of images and words in order to simulate the experience we all went through when learning our first language. For example, the program will show you an image of an apple and have the word "Apfel" on the screen, and you instantly make the connection that "Apfel" is apple in German, and so on and so forth. However, this is not an advertisement for Rosetta Stone, although I do encourage anyone with the desire to learn a new language to obtain it, as it is definitely a great teacher.


I wanted to discuss some of the aspects of the supplementary techniques I have implemented while studying German through Rosetta Stone. For one, I have begun to listen to plenty of German music. The purpose of this is to consistently bombard my ear drums with the way the language sounds when spoken by natives. A couple of the groups I've discovered through this process have really opened my eyes to some of the great music scenes happening outside the United States. Artists including Peter Fox (reggae/hip hop) and Wir Sind Helden (pop rock, pictured) are definitely great places to start for anyone trying to check out some international sounds, even if you understand little or no German at all! Also, I'm now officially in love with Judith Holofernes, the lead singer of Wir Sind Helden.


The main reason I'm crafting this article, however, is to talk up the way I have even used video games to immerse myself in the German language and learn even faster that I would otherwise. This consequently taking the "false" sense of accomplishment I already get from gaming and changes it to a "legitimate" sense of accomplishment. Part of my immersion process was to change my PlayStation 3's language setting to German as well! Because most games made these days have subtitles and menus translated into languages for a multitude of regions, and almost as many games even include voice overs in a lot of the languages provided, it was definitely a great move. Not only have I been enjoying plenty of sessions in Street Fighter III: Online Edition, I also am now forced to read the German translations of all of the menus and the challenges, and this has broadened my vocabulary much quicker than if I had just kept my game console in English. Think about how awesome this already bad ass man sounds in German!


As an avid gamer, I have heard several people try to down talk my love for gaming and deny the validity of some of the Things I've Learned From Gaming. Even I myself have been judgmental of the time I spend playing games that I could have spent otherwise strengthening my mind in some way, shape, or form. For me, this is not only a big middle finger to the game haters, but it also is a great way for me to enjoy video games AND educate myself at the same time.

Are any of you guys out there interested in learning or even currently studying a different language? In addition to some of the other tools I've mentioned in this post, I would HIGHLY recommend changing your game console to whatever language it is you are studying. It will not only accelerate your learning, but it will also give you a chance to intelligently debate the next game hater who tries to rain on your parade!

That's all from me! If you guys have any other great ways of using Gaming For Good, let me hear about it in the comments below!

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