Text Based Online Games – English As a Second Language and RPG Games
One feature of text based online games is the chance to meet many people from around the world and to form friendships, bonds, and even to learn more about your own culture through another player. Yet one of the most striking lessons one can learn is that the textual RPG game is a place where one can learn English as a second language. Since British English is often the main language of choice for RPG games, players will find themselves interacting with native and non-native English speakers.
Like many Americans who play textual RPG games, I am constantly surprised to meet others in games who demonstrate a high ability to speak, to write, and to express their intentions so well. Of course, for those who write or speak English as a second language (and sometimes a third or fourth), RPG textual games are a perfect space for players to create characters and practice language skills. In all, the textual RPG game becomes a worldwide community that bridges cultures, and allows players to interact and to learn more about various elements in and out of game through written expression.
As some new users will discover, online RPG games are populated by players who often help another non-native English speaker with his or her language skills. Many player run organizations have free credit no deposit guides and mentors. If the player tells his or her guide or mentor that English is not the first language spoken the mentor will make it known to others to help the non-native speaker with language skills. What remains amazing is the willingness established players have to assist others to make the game an enjoyable diversion and to help players learn more about the language written (or spoken) in game as well as the game culture.
While some who read this may be timid to try an online RPG game because of English being the choice language, they will find that many clans and private clans are created by other users in games where they can speak native languages too. While English remains official languages in most MUDs, it does not prevent clans from setting rules to where other languages are spoken. So, players will find that they are never truly alone because there is always someone in game who speaks one or more languages besides English. Furthermore, some mentors and guides are fluent in two or three other languages and are willing to bridge the language gap. Plus, if they make friends with someone who speaks a language they may not know- all the mentor has to do is ask other characters who may speak the common language and the online game becomes personal and enjoyable.