Learning English with adventure games
By Tomasz P. Szynalski
What is an adventure game?
An adventure game is a kind of computer game which is similar to a movie. There is always a story and the main character (usually a person, such as a detective or a pirate). The difference is that you don't just watch — instead, you control the main character. You use your mouse or keyboard, and your character moves around in the game world, looks at things, picks them up, uses them, and talks to other characters. Your character also talks to you. For example, when you tell him to look at something, he will tell you what he sees. You can then use this information to decide what to do next.
Why adventure games are good for your English
As an English learner, you want to see and hear lots of English sentences. Adventure games are ideal, because they are based on dialogue. Your character talks to himself, talks to you and talks to other characters. Everything depends on dialogue.
When you play an adventure game:
•You program your brain with good English. When you play an adventure game, you have contact with a large number of correct sentences in real, conversational English. These sentences are not only spoken (as on TV). In many adventure games you can also turn on subtitles. If you do, you will hear the pronunciation and see the spelling at the same time. In effect, the sentences stick in your head more strongly, and you gain the ability to produce similar sentences yourself.
•You improve your understanding of spoken English. In modern adventure games, you can hear all the characters speak real English. The dialogue is easier to understand than in movies: it is slower, clearer, and you can often stop the action and listen to a phrase again. Therefore, playing an adventure game is excellent listening practice.
•You improve your pronunciation. Listening to good spoken English is always good for your pronunciation.
•You increase your motivation. When you play an adventure game, you are in a situation where knowing English makes you feel good. It's simple. If you can understand the dialogue, you know what is going on in the game. This helps you solve the puzzles and understand the humor. You have fun. You teach your brain that "English = pleasure", and your motivation increases!