Once in a while, someone comes up with an inspired new way of using RPGs. Magicians: A Language Learning RPG is one of them. Written by Kyle Simons, Magicians is an interesting project dedicated to using RPGs as a medium of teaching a language and it’s currently on Kickstarter to gather funding.
The concept itself is neat one. Player characters are students with access to powers that can only be successfully cast if you speak the Korean words or phrases correctly. A free dictation app will tell you if you were correct or not, and if you cast your spell properly. Simple, and admittedly pretty effective. I can only imagine how proficient I’d have been in Mandarin if I had a game (and smartphone apps) back in High School that worked like this.
In a nutshell, if you can speak Korean, you can cast the spell.
The support that Kyle and his team are planning for this looks pretty stellar. Accompanying video lessons and free materials will be made available for to watch and download. Furthermore, the PDFs will have audio files built in so that if any Korean word is clicked on an audio recording of the proper pronounciation will play. Now that’s a good way of really exploring and using all the possibilities of the PDF format.
It’s an interesting project that could very well be a great way to get people into gaming more. With the whole Hallyu / Korean Wave hitting the Philippines I figure more than a few people here wouldn’t mind having a fun way to learn the language of their favorite pop stars either.
For more information, check out The kickstarter: http://kck.st/TuOkPa