Play Around the World

Monday, April 20, 2009

One of the great things about Second Life is its international community. Linden Lab hasn't published user metrics in quite a while, but here is a visualization from the end of 2007 that shows USA-based players are only 37% of the user base. I'm sure that number has only decreased. Through my store I've met and made friends with people from countries all over the world.

Playing games is a great way to get to know someone. You might not have anything in common with a dentist from Brazil, and not having any language in common might make communication seem impossible. But once you face off in a match of En Garde, the only point you need to make is at the end of your epeƩ. Euro-style games, in particular, force you to get inside the head of your opponent. And that works even if you can't talk to him.

I try to keep the language-specific components of my games to a minimum, so once you know how to play you're not hampered by an unintelligible interface. But that "once you know how to play" can be a barrier. So I've started to add translations of the game rules to the website. So far I have Frootcake in French, and En Garde in Italian. These were both contributed by bi-lingual players (thanks to Jyzabelle Andel for the French rules!). If you or someone you know can help translate rules into another language, you can either email it to me or drop a notecard on me in-world. A Spanish or Portuguese translation of En Garde would be great -- I know there's a fair number of players who would be helped by that. There's also quite a few Tinies who like to play Frootcake, but I suppose I could just make a copy of the rules in a really small font.

Do you have a story about meeting/playing against someone from another country? Post it in the comments here!



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