Written by Flamecaster, edited by Otaku Apologist
An advertisement for one of China’s largest English-teaching schools has been discovered, one that is sure to draw the ire of Nintendo fans globally. The ad is pure shock marketing that unabashedly attacks gamers, painting the favorite hobby of millions of people as a waste of time, time they should be spending to study more hours in their government schools.
The advertisement raises awareness of Meten English, one of China’s largest English teaching schools.
“They say: ‘I’m too busy everyday to learn any English.’ Yet, they always have time when playing video games. I’m not them!”
The irony is that gaming is a better source of hands-on learning of English for many, which is another reason many kids prefer immersing themselves in a more engaging activity than reading agenda-driven state propaganda from their school books. A recent example of this is the playerbase of Octopath Traveler, one of Nintendo Switch’s games. Nintendo’s Chinese twitter account pointed out on the communist social media platform that Chinese players are using the game to learn “Shakespearean” period English.
China-based Twitter account Chinese Nintendo reported that college kids have started calling “Octopath Traveler” “TEM-8 Traveler,” a joke referencing the college-level Test for English Majors. In order to be qualified as proficient in English, seniors have to pass the TEM-8 exam; they have only one try to pass it, which raises the stakes for the students.
Reading Shakespearean English is definitely high-level stuff, and without a Chinese localization yet, H’aanit’s storyline reads even more like nonsense to anyone still learning English. Her dialogue has since become a joke to some people on social networks like Weibo. Players in English-speaking countries have also called it ridiculous. But Chinese Nintendo points out that some players are using “Octopath Traveler” as an opportunity to help each other out with their advanced English skills.
It seems that Meten English might be barking up the wrong tree demonizing Nintendo’s newest console.