With bilions of people of all ages worldwide spending hours every day playing games, how can we take advantage of this industry to increase the use and awareness of the Welsh language and Welsh heritage?

About 37 million people in the UK alone spend their spare time playing video games. In 2018 the UK gaming industry was worth around £5.7billion with around 65 gaming studios based in Wales in 2019.

Excellent for language learning

In a recent feature for BBC Wales, Morgan Roberts, from Menter Caerffili says:

“You can spend hours playing a game and it’s very easy to pick things up. It’s excellent for language learning. It’s important to play games you’re passionate about, ’cause you can share that passion your viewers and with the community. When you think of folklore and history and storytelling, World of Warcraft and League of Legends, Welsh would lend itsef well to those kind of games. If we gave it that kind of magical thing and set it up in the right way, I’m sure more and more people would thing “Oh my gosh, I want to learn Welsh because there’s so much there already”.”

Here are some highlights of Yn Chwarae video game club, giving young adults a chance to socialise in Welsh:

A greater understanding of history

During lockdown Mentrau Iaith’s Video Games Club was formed. Menter Iaith Môn, Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych and Menter Caerffili worked together to offer young people digital opportunities through the Welsh language whilst building significant buildings in Welsh history on Minecraft including Capel Celyn, Castell Dinas Bran and Castell Aberlleiniog

Richard Owen, Menter Iaith Môn, explained on behalf of the project:

“The spirit of our grandparents lives on in these young people, when you see the energy and ingenuity they have in rebuilding their heritage on Minecraft! In essence, the activity allows young people to socialize and work together in Welsh, essential skills for the future workplace, while also having fun and developing a greater depth of understanding of their history.”