Lassaris

This one is a bit left-field - Cantr.net!!

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Hi everyone, new member here.

I'm from a text-based game called Cantr and I thought you might (or might not!) find it a really compelling way to learn or practice language skills.

Alright, so here's the thing - Cantr isn't for everyone. And it certainly wasn't designed with language learning as the primary goal. However, it is a lot of fun, and offers an immersion opportunity for language learners.

Before I keep going - let me just say that the game is totally free in every respect, this isn't spam or marketing or advertising - the game is run entirely by volunteers and operates on donations (though donations are so minimal that the owner just pays for servers out-of-pocket).

Cantr is basically a player-driven story. It's a society simulator. You play from the perspective of a character and contribute to the story through "roleplay". It's entirely text-based, and that's intentional - it's supposed to be like reading a novel, except the story is 100% by players. The game world is so open that you can be anything you want - a politician, a philosopher, a trader, a CEO, a pirate, the leader of a rebellion, a king or queen, a homeless person, a nobody, a somebody, a traveller, an explorer, a colonist... I could go on forever.

The game has existed for a long time - like 15 years - and the society has evolved as such. It's a really interesting game and I recommend you check it out regardless of whether you want to learn a language or not.

However, here's the interesting part. In the game there are virtual continents. Each continent has a language group. If you register a new character, you get to select a language group. So I'm an English speaker wanting to learn Japanese and Spanish, for example, so most of my characters are English, but I "spawned" a few Spanish characters. Now, I'm immersed with native Spanish speakers and I'm able to practice my Spanish in a real-world context. The game administrators actually encourage this, and players are aware that people are doing this to learn a language. It's a really inviting community in that sense.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I'll stick around here if anyone needs any support.

You can try it out here: https://cantr.net/

A couple of things to keep your expectation right:

  • The style is a little outdated, but trust me - once you're inside the game, the depth of the game is very good. You can build tools, machines, harvest resources, construct vehicles, tame animals (including horses to ride), make your own buildings and more. You can change the theme color of the game once you're in, as well.
  • There is a thing called the Capital Rule, which is to protect the immersion, or the "story" that players are creating. Simply, this means, "stay inside the mind of your character", so you have to play as if you're actually that character.

That's it! I think you will love it and learn much more quickly in your respective language groups. Good luck!! :D

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Hello again! Thought I'd come back and check in.

Did anyone end up trying it out? Please PM me or reply here if you have any trouble! 

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