So, you have learned several things to keep in mind about import gaming with language learning as a desired result. You know to set goals, so that you know what you want to get out of a game, and can focus on getting that aspect. You know the keep in mind your level. You know the importance of actually using a dictionary and using it to learn the vocab. You know to think about how game features might help you learn. You know that convention is a useful shortcut through some game systems, but that you shouldn’t just skip the text. And you know that you can rely on your intuition to work out the overall meaning of a sentence.
But that is all focused on you, the player. This is about helping you identify games that might be well suited for second language playing.
Please bare in mind that while I focus on Japanese games, import gaming is not limited to this country. Germany, Korea, China and many other countries all have a huge amount of interesting games that don’t get released elsewhere, and while this advice is tailored to Japanese games, I am sure some of it will transfer.
So, recently I bought myself Hyrule Warriors in Japanese. It’s a fun, dumb beat em up so I thought what could be the problem. Plus it’s Zelda, so Furigana (pronunciation guide for kanji) will be there… And it was.
But the problem with a Warriors game I hadn’t considered was because it’s so real time and a lot of constant information, combined with my reading speed not being quite quick enough to catch everything. Curiously, in an attempt to seem more Zelda-like, cutscenes play out in real time, but with textboxes and the odd sampled “oh/gasp/what” which also left me without time to read some of the more complex parts, and certainly no chance to look up anything. Making this dumb game much more language intensive than expected.
So while I had planned to make an effort, right now all I’m able to do is get a gist and try and remember what words to look up later! This miscalculation got me thinking about gaming in Japanese when it is your second language, which I have been doing for about 8 years and so here is some advice on the subject of gaming in Japanese WITH THE INTENT TO LEARN.
I will cover some things to keep in when in Japanese when you don’t have learning as a core outcome another time. This advice assumes you have basic Japanese. ひらがな nor カタカ
should make you scared, but you still wince at 漢字.