I convinced the day job to let me write about video games on company time and set about offering some suggestions on how to use video games to learn English.

It’s definitely possible -submersing yourself in any form of media will give you the edge when it comes to learning another language. The frustrating thing is that video games have a real potential to be more than that and I’m yet to see a developer successfully pulling it off.

Game of Thrones - Telltale Games

Admittedly, maybe attempting to learn English through Telltale’s Game of Thrones might be a little on the ambitious side.

What’s more, the success of apps like Duolingo show there’s a real market for interactive media that teaches these things and video games have so much potential to really react to the individual student.

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Below is something the awesome guys at work put together about video game translations.

In this infographic, you have the opportunity to learn a little bit of French! Also, the site, Kiss My Geek that it’s co-branded with is also a neat little site that I’ve taken to reading in an effort to improve my awful French language skills.

Particular favourites of mine in the image below are entries for Ezio from Assassin’s Creed and the original Grand Theft Auto.

Parlez-vous jeux vidéo ?
Parlez-vous jeux vidéo ? – Kaplan International

Disclaimer:  I am now an intern at M&M Global, a media and marketing trade journal, but this piece does NOT represent the views of the magazine.  Also, see that word intern:  That means I’m a rung on the ladder below junior.  Views to be taken with a pinch of salt.

A Twitter campaign run by McDonald’s got a little out of hand a few days ago.  The fast food chain promoted two tweets with two hashtags encouraging tweeters to 1) learn about the McDonald’s supply chain with #meetthefarmers and 2) share their stories about their McDonald’s experiences with #McDStories.

The meet the farmers hashtag was doomed to mediocrity from conception.  It’s a nice idea and apparently did quite well, but isn’t going to engage mass audiences.  Besides, as soon as you give most people the word ‘farmer’, they instantly translate it into a West Country accent.  When I used to tell people I went to Farmor’s School, you could see them doing it in their heads.

The second hashtag however was just plain doomed from conception.  If you’ve spent any amount of time in the real world, or indeed on Twitter, you don’t need any marketing training or experience to know where the #McDStories was going to go.  Instead of the warm and fuzzy “I’m Lovin’ It” tweets they were apparently expecting, the hashtag very quickly filled up with horror stories and general bile directed towards the golden arches.  The promoted tweet was pulled after a couple of hours when they saw how their social marketing audience had turned.

This incident was reported just about everywhere and heralded as one of the first social media marketing gaffs of the year.  I can’t help feeling however that there’s something more to it.

I think McDonald’s got a lot of mileage out of that one promoted tweet.

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