Among the enormous MMORPGs player population, kids account for a significant percentage. In the meantime, more and more non-native English players are joining the English MMO servers for various reasons. For them, playing MMORPGs is an efficient way to improve their language skill.
Compared to other genres, like ACT and RTS, MMORPGs contain much greater quest dialogue and lore. To progress in the game, players have to constantly read and understand the content. By this way, players can unconsciously improve their vocabulary and reading skill.
Moreover, as a highly interactive game genre, MMORPGs can also provide players with an engaging platform to communicate with others. In a MMORPG, you have to team up for quests, join guilds, trade and etc. All of these require you to interact with other people in the game. Usually we can find out that new players not only suck at PK, but also suck in typing out coherent sentences. While playing the game, players’ communication and typing skills improve greatly.
To hook more players onto the game, developers usually provide forums and blogs, where players can chat with others and compose their in-game stories. Conquer Online has once hosted a fan story competition to let players share their sweet and bitter experience in the game and with the whole community. In this fashion, MMORPGs can enhance players’ writing skill.
Obviously players can learn the basics of a language from schools. But schools can’t force you to master something that you have no interest in, especially a foreign language. For those non-native English players, MMOs can provide a platform where they can be exposed to a real English environment, and contact with native English speakers. Compare this to the traditional study method; MMOs create a positive and efficient environment to learn a language.
Take Conquer Online for example, significant non-native English players from Middle East and European countries have joined the Chinese style, free MMO’s English version servers, which makes for a quite multicultural game community. Aside from the immersive gameplay, many of these players admit that Conquer is a good channel for them to improve their English. Undoubtedly, the vivid game world is much more acceptable and attractive than the traditional classroom teaching.