Ever wanted to learn Japanese but felt it might be too daunting or complicated? This new videogame is not only educational but looks super fun, too! Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography is currently in development, with plans to release on both the Nintendo Switch console and via Steam for PC gamers.
Recently listed on Kickstarter, things are looking very optimistic for Shashingo with over 850 backers and the $29,557 / £25,000 / AU$44,849 funding goal almost reached, before the campaign closes on March 31.
Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography could be a potential game-changer (pun intended) for English speakers who are looking to learn Japanese in a more engaging and entertaining way, compared with the traditional mind-numbing online courses for language learning or even smartphone apps with relentless notifications and pestering, such as Duolingo.
For photographers especially, we already know that visual learning is a great way to understand how things work, and the fact that photography-based video games are gaining popularity just proves that it can be a really beneficial tool and resource for absorbing information that wouldn't otherwise stick.
The aim of Shashingo is to take photographs with your trusty camera of beautiful (and fictional) streets of Japan, capturing new words and images, which will then transform into fully translated digital flashcards for you to study Japanese with.
Shashingo will enable players to learn new Japanese words by exploring the vibrant streets of Japan and capturing virtual photos, which will then also be stored in your own photo album for you to practice with while learning to pronounce words correctly, with audio examples for enhanced listening skills.
The game also includes real Japanese lessons to test you on your learned knowledge, and a 'Find' mode that will send you out on a hunt to search for and capture an image of an item, place, or subject that will be written in Japanese. There's even the option to buy and use different image filters with in-game reward stars as currency.
The game appears to be a familiar take on the extremely popular Nintendo Switch game, New Pokémon Snap!, which we regard at DCW as being one of the best photography videogames – and it has also been helping to inspire the next generation of young photographers in an educational yet fun approach for kids to learn fast-snapping and subject (Pokémon) searching from multiple angles.
The team behind Shashingo is UK-based and spearheaded by the core developer, game artist, and overall designer, Ryan Pocock (whose indie game studio is Autumn Pioneer), as well as freelance music composer and translation checker, Kenya Abe, among other collaborators.
Aside from looking visually awesome, this game clearly has a lot to offer – and the already overwhelming support for it on Kickstarter suggests that there's a lot of interest in it, too.
If you feel like backing this project you could receive benefits that include your name in the game credits, exclusive behind-the-scenes access, additional in-game filters, and physical goodies such as stickers, pin badges and flash cards. So check out the Kickstarter campaign to help make Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography a reality!
Editor's note: As with all Kickstarter projects, please be aware that the finished project (or rewards) may not fully resemble the early campaign materials, it may not arrive on schedule, and it may not materialize at all.
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