3D Dictionary SanJiten

Posted: 24th July 2012 by Maxim Bardin in Uncategorized

3D Dictionary SanJiten is a game that teaches you new languages.
Already $21,774 have been pledged of $12,000 needed, so you can join in and help to fund the support for even more languages.
62 hours are left to pledge !

Level up your language skills by playing a video game! It’s the most fun you’ll ever have learning a new language. Try the demo now!

In a nutshell, SanjigenJiten, better known as simply SanJiten, is an interactive 3D Language Learning Video Game.

Take your character through an interactive environment, packed with tons of selectable objects. Learn words at your own pace, adding them one by one to your Vocab List as you go. Challenge yourself in Time Attack to improve your vocabulary, and try to beat your high scores and best times.


Sanjiten Gameplay Trailer

Hi! I’m Rob Howland (the guy writing this stuff). I am a research student living in Japan with my fantastically artistic girlfriend. Her name is Emily Olmstead and she’s got mad skills yo!

You may already know this but… We’re making a game!

I am just finishing up a two-year research project at the University of Tsukuba’s – Entertainment Computing Laboratory. My research there focused on discerning what elements make regular video games fun and how they can be applied to making educational video games equally, if not more, entertaining and rewarding. You can read more about that here in our research paper, which was recently published by the Information Processing Society of Japan.

Since I was already learning Japanese on my own, I decided to design a game that would teach both myself and other players whatever language they were interested in learning. The game is loosely based on a method I used to teach myself the names of everyday things in my apartment by taping flash cards to various objects. I  had a bit of an “Aha! Moment” and realized the very same idea could quite easily be applied to a 3D game environment, where the system provides the names of Objects simply by selecting them, like so.

The game’s working title is SanjigenJiten (?????), Japanese for 3D Dictionary. We’ve shortened it to SanJiten to keep things simple. It has all the elements one might expect from a standard non-educational video game including an item collection system (with hidden items), a player scoring system, a complex rewards system incorporating a game economy with unlockable content, and also some fun achievements. An in-depth storyline is in the works for the final version and will be completed and included if we receive enough support.

The game is currently in the alpha stages but we have many great improvements planned. We have a number of awesome redditors from the LearnJapanese subreddit currently assisting us by translating the game into new languages and giving good advice as the game grows.

You too can help us out by downloading and playing the demo! You can then upload any suggestions, ideas, or horrible bugs here. We also have a quick 10 question survey that will greatly assist us here.

We believe our game will have an enormous worldwide impact on both the serious games community and the language education community. SanJiten has been designed with the new “gamer generation” in mind, and is part of an attempt to really show the world that video games have some serious potential to bring about real change in the way we learn and acquire new information. This game is a first in that it really attempts to incorporate everything that makes a real video game fun into something with a real-life purpose beneath the surface.


So if you want to support the project, you got 62 hours left to pledge !

  1. Todd B. says:

    Certainly an interesting game-type. Start off speaking English and before you know it, I could be on TeamSpeak or Mumble rambling off in Spanish, Japanese, and maybe Chinese (cantonese or mandarin). 😀


    Todd B.
    Linux Game News