Imagine making language learning as much fun as a game –because it is a game – all in order to increase learning speed and retention well beyond the capabilities of any product in today’s market. That’s what Las Vegas-based startup Talking Games has set out to do. Founded by indigenous language learning veteran and Thornton Media President Don Thornton, a Cherokee Nation citizen, Talking Games is the first company to bring immersive virtual game environments to the consumer language-learning market.
Talking Games announced its Kickstarter campaign recently at the local hub for technology startups, the VegasTech Jelly, with a presentation in February in Downtown Las Vegas. The 40-day campaign will run until April 19.
“We have a fully-operational demo version of the Cherokee game already”, said Thornton. “We changed the project name from ‘RezWorld’ to ‘Talking Games’ and have expanded our goals to include the major languages market.”
“Far too many language courses are sitting on shelves gathering dust,” said Thornton. “People are bored with the most popular language learning software, which is based on technology that is almost 20 years old. Once it was innovative, but today it makes language learning take many times as long as it needs to. The elements missing from these courses are interactive immersion and fun, and Talking Games’ accelerated language learning is based on these key elements.”
Thornton’s experience with complex, indigenous languages led him to consider 3-D video games as teaching tools. The new 3-D RPG (Role-Playing video Game) will revolutionize speed and retention in learning all languages – indigenous ones as well as Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Mandarin and more. Talking Games’ first languages will be Spanish and Cherokee, the first language of Thornton’s mother, with more to follow, and with a percentage of all profits being dedicated to the creation of tools to revitalize endangered languages.
Thornton Media has hosted more than 100 tribes and First Nations at their popular iPad Workshops in Las Vegas. Thornton Media’s existing language-learning apps can supplement other types of teaching methods, or act as independent language-learning tools.
Founded in 1995, Thornton Media has created custom language tools for more than 170 American Indian tribes and Canadian First Nations. It relocated from S. California to Las Vegas in 2010, and is the only high-tech language learning company in the world devoted to both the accelerated and better learning of all languages and the revitalization of indigenous ones.
- Thornton Media