During a couple of my trips to one of the cyber cafes here in Taipei I have met locals who are near fluent in English. Now I understand that most (maybe all?) students here study English in school, but I am talking about meeting people who at first sound like they may actually be ABCs and not locals of Taipei. During my last trip to the cafe I finally broke down and asked one of these guys how he got so good at speaking English. His answer was short and sweet. WoW.
I have been considering off and on since arriving in Taiwan buying a Chinese version of WoW in an attempt to meet people and brush up on my language skills, but I never got around to it for several reasons. After a while I gave up on the idea and forgot about trying to use video games to work on my Chinese skills.
Three days ago though, the idea reemerged in full force while I was walking through the mall near my house. I walked into one of the video game stores and was perusing the DS titles available when a box cover with large Chinese characters caught my attention. It was the Sims online. I immediately decided that this would be the perfect game for me to learn Chinese with. It is a life simulator and so my idea is that the vocabulary I will be confronted with in the game should be words and phrases that I can put to use and practice in my daily life.
The game is downloading right now. I can't wait to try this out.