Sega’s Shenmue: the Best Video Game Series for Japanese Language & Culture Acquisition?

Game-Based Learning, Microsoft, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

My interview for the Italian video game online magazine/platform about one of my favorite video game series ever, Shenmue, and its value in terms of acquisition of Japanese language & culture, was published today:

An English translation of the article is available here:

View at

Thank you Emiliano Ragoni of for your excellent article! And Arigato! Mr. Yu Suzuki for your gaming masterpiece!

In my recently-published scholarly article  “Using Video Games to Teach Italian Language & Culture: Useful, Effective, Feasible?” NEMLA Italian Studies XXXIX special issue “The Italian Digital Classroom: Italian Culture and Literature through digital tools and social media.” [available as a PDF download  ( and in print], I also mention the Sega Shenmue series as an excellent learning device, the best, in my view, in terms of Japanese language and culture acquisition. The game includes Japanese and English audio tracks and subtitles. Lip-syncing is in Japanese. The first episodes is set in the Japanese town of Yokosuka,

The first game in the series was released in 1999 in Japan and in 2000 in the US and Europe on the Sega Dreamcast. Episode II was released in 2001 on the Sega Dreamcast, then ported in 2002 on the original Microsoft Xbox. The first two episodes in the series have been recently re-released (August 2018), updated in high-definition, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. A third, new original episode is scheduled for release in late August 2019.

In my interview, I also discuss my methodology (IAC: Identify, Acquire, Create); my current work with the Assassin’s Creed series and future developments with Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey; and my participation at SXSW EDU in Austin in March 2019.

Image: Sega Shenmue – Sega AM2 – Creator Yu Suzuki. 

Technology for Teaching Vol. 2, Issue 2 (2018) – Faculty Feature Interview on Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning

Grazie! / Thank you Saint Louis University Reinert Center for your video interview and feature for the Faculty Spotlight section of the current issue of Techology for Teaching, the Reinert Center Journal on Pedagogy, Educational Technology and Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies.