How language shapes the way we play

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The first English words I learned were “register” and “not yet”.

I didn’t quite grasp their meaning at the time. I only knew that my CD-ROMs full of demos all featured the same starting screen with two buttons. The one called “Register” opened a scary window full of foreign words. Clicking the “Not Yet” button, on the other hand, allowed me to play for a while.

I was a five-year-old Italian girl, and I had no video games in my native language. So I played what I could: platformers and dress-up games, vertical shooters and puzzles. And I replayed the same levels all the time, because the idea of opening a menu to save my progress was an alien concept to me.

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