Nowadays, Steam is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to buy games. Steam for the uninitiated amongst us, is a digital distribution platform, what the hell is that you ask? Basically it’s a place to buy and download games digitally, games tend to be cheaper and you don’t have to worry about cases and manuals that come with a game if you’d bought it from a shop. I’ve used steam for quite some time now, and I found it really useful from a language learning perspective for a few reasons.
1. Supported languages
If you want to buy a game, steam makes it extremely easy to find out which languages are in fact supported with a little language box. This will let you know whether the interface, full audio and subtitles are available and in what languages. Language support depends on the game, some might only support English, the triple A game titles (CoD, Assassins Creed, Skyrim) tend to have better language support than say games from a small indie developer, but by and large most of the major languages are supported by most games.
2. Switching languages
With steam it’s really easy to change the languages of games in your library, you can change the language of each game independently, so you could play a game like Counter-Strike in German, and have another game like Skyrim in French. All you need to do is right-click on your game, head to properties, language, select a language, and the game will reinstall the files that it needs. It’s as easy as that. If you like to play games in your spare time, then you should at least consider playing them in a language that you’re learning if it’s possible. Spending your dead-time playing a game in your TL is a lot better than just playing a game in your native language. Changing the language might not be as effective in some games that have more of a multiplayer focus, however it can be a really powerful language tool in single player games.