“Once I started playing tabletop role-playing games I wondered why not take it to the next level and make an RPG game designed entirely to teach a language?” Mr. Simons, the project creator, said.
Role-playing has been used for generations in language classrooms to help students express themselves and as a teaching tool. This technique provides students the chance to open up, take some risks and truly learn a new language. Sometimes, students are reluctant to take risks and make mistakes when learning another language. Many people do not have a teacher who is well-versed in the target language they want to learn and to guide them throughout the learning process. To solve this problem, Magicians employs a dictation application on the smartphone or computer to state failure and success in the game as well as to teach proper pronunciation while telling collaborative, fun stories in a less formal and more relaxed environment.
Magicians is about creativity without complexity; The only thing holding back the players and their characters when casting spells and reshaping the world is their own knowledge of the language they are learning. As gamers learn the new language and get better at it, their characters will also get stronger and better. Players start to feel really connected to their characters and are inspired to keep on learning.
Kyle Simons, the project creator, has been working and living in Seoul, South Korea for more than five years. He is majoring in Korean Education and is in the middle of a degree from Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea and the game is to be the basis for his thesis. Mr. Simons is a gamer at heart who loves to play on all types of platforms. He always makes it a point to set a few hours aside each week to suit his passion for gaming. He is working with industry veterans like Ryan Macklin, who is working on developing as well as editing RPGs, and Daniel Solis, a game designer, graphics designer and layout artist who has worked on RPGs like Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple and The Dresden Files RPG.
The Magicians kickstarter began on October 18, 2012 and has since been over 600% funded, raised over $18,000. The funding campaign as well as the first book’s focus is to get gamers learning the Korean language with Japanese support at $20,000.
“If the kickstarter is successful and there’s enough interest, I plan on doing books for other languages as well – Japanese and French and the very least but I hope many, many more. It’s important enough to me that I’ve invested all I can afford to bring the book to the point it’s at today and I’m really happy to be working with industry veterans like Ryan Macklin and Daniel Solis and to see the project already getting so much attention.”
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For more information about the project, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/