This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
Las Vegas Company Kickstarting Its Way Into The Multi-billion-dollar Language-Learning Market
Published on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 (4:20 p.m.)3-D video game model to dramatically accelerate language learning
WHERE / WHEN: /usr/lib/ (2nd floor, Emergency Arts Building) Thursday, February 28, 7:30 pm at VegasTech Jelly
LAS VEGAS – February 23, 2013 – 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, Talking Games is the first company to bring immersive virtual game environments to the field of language learning, improving acquisition and retention dramatically. Talking Games will be announcing its Kickstarter campaign at the local hub for technology startups, the VegasTech Jelly, with a presentation at 7:30pm on Thursday, February 28th in the /usr/lib of the Emergency Arts Building, just upstairs from The Beat Coffeehouse.
“Far too many language courses are sitting on real or virtual 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. Talking Games has already completed a fully-operational demo version of the game for the Cherokee language. 3rd party studies have shown that such games accelerate language learning by up to ten times over conventional online and classroom methods. 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. Earlier this month, Thornton Media hosted Native American tribal representatives of 18 separate endangered languages at a Las Vegas technology workshop.
Founded in 1995, Thornton Media has created custom language tools for more than 170 American Indian tribes and Canadian First Nations. It relocated from Southern 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.