Thorton Media, Inc. (TMI) creates tools for indigenous languages in Canada and the US. They are the company behind the Tsalagi or Cherokee (chr) language app for the iPod/iPhone (see earlier post) and also produce the Language Pal for the Nintendeo DSi (a handheld video game machine).
Alelo is a company that makes interactive 3D video games, the sort where you play a character and interact with computer (or other human) characters.
Together, they have created a pilot for a game to learn languages in an interactive setting. It uses a task-based approach, where the player/learner is given a task to do and uses the target language to complete the task. The concept is that by creating a world that has game qualities, the user will forget they are in a learning environment and instead strive to learn the language while having fun. Named RezWorld, the pilot is in Cherokee and draws on on-rez life.
The game is planned to have as many as 12 levels and is intended to be customizable for any language. TMI is currently seeking a group interested in creating the first full version. The basic price is USD 300,000 for one level and $1 million for a complete set. Once the first game is complete, the price would drop dramatically, with packages estimated as low as $250,000 for a full game.
In addition to a dictionary, grammar explanations and translations, the game would include, as an example:
- 40 skill building lessons with an aim of at least 1800 vocabulary words
- 100 dialogs
- 1000+ exercises and quizzes
- 1900+ lesson pages
- 9 Game scenes