Using video games to learn a language – Matt Parish

If you’d like to hear Matt’s opinions on tech students in universities jump to 09.16

Matt is the lead full-stack game developer at Wibbu

Currently the lead full-stack game developer at Wibbu, Matt makes games for language learning. His goal is to create immersive experiences for players to learn languages. From the player perspective, this is done as a second point to the game. Wibbu wants its players to enjoy their game experience and then once they’ve finished they realise they’ve learned a language. The school version of Ruby Rei is sold and endorsed by Cambridge University Assessments and is accompanied by an extensive Teacher’s Handbook developed by Cambridge University Press.  

Before Wibbu Matt has worked in web development and for a games company called Everi, which specialised in slot machine games.   

**At 9.13 Matt mentions mention that the school’s version of Ruby Rei is scheduled to release in May. As schedules usually do, this has changed. The school’s version is currently being sold in Turkey and is going to be launched in Mexico and Spain within the next year?

 


Matt on why universities are losing tech students 

How often do big universities update their content? Not often. Technology changes at such a rate that the tech stacks companies are using can look unrecognisable in 4 years. Something you started learning in your freshman year at school is not necessarily going to be the big thing in your senior year.    

I did the standard education route, I went to university and got my degree in computer science. But looking back on that experience the costs was disproportionately large compared to the value I feel I received. Also, the main language taught in my course was C++. 

I’ve barely used that language since leaving university. I understand why it was taught, it covers a lot of the technical aspects you need to know to be a proficient coder and it covers things you might not in C# or Java, like memory collection. So, I haven’t really used C++ since leaving school and I quickly found out that I’d need to learn three more languages before I became marketable to an employer.        

Universities are very structured, and some people need that structure. If you need a syllabus to follow and tutoring to understand difficult programming principles that’s fine. But for people who are able to be very disciplined and self-driven, there are quicker and easier ways to go about learning code. It’s also a lot cheaper too.   

 


Show Notes:

00.58 Matts background and career progression

03.34 Learning a new language by playing a video game

09.16 Challenging the education sector 

15.24 Why work on languages?

19.30 The games’ developers conference

26.02 How do you decide what to invest in