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An Unnecessary Minority

Updated: Feb 10, 2019

Guild Wars 2

Watching from afar...

One of my Hispanic companions and I watch as our friend runs toward his death. The chat is quite heated.

Through my experience within Guild Wars 2, I have discovered that game is home to adventurers from all over the world and that we play with those who speak different languages more often than we realize. In my previous blog post, I recounted an interesting experience I had when partying up with a random Spanish-speaking player. While the session turned out to be far more enjoyable than I expected, I was hoping that it would be an entirely unique occurrence. Unfortunately for me, since the previous blog post, I have partied up with two additional groups of Spanish-speaking players. It started to feel like every player I happened to bump into was Spanish, and it quickly became frustrating. Due to my lack of fluency in the language, partaking in complex conversations and conducting meaningful interviews with these players is a nigh impossible challenge. All of these encounters have made me curious as to why there are so many Spanish speakers in our apparently English-speaking servers and have inspired me to do some research into the Spanish population of the game.

Image from Guild Wars 2 Wiki

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any sources with number values pertaining to the population of a specific language group. This is unsurprising, as such a statistic would require an immense amount of effort to obtain. However, I did end up finding an official wiki article describing the servers, or “worlds,” that we play on. The “list of worlds,” as seen in the image above, shows us every server available in the game and lists their region, general population, and language requirement. We see that some of the European servers are specifically for French, German, and Spanish players. North America surprisingly has no servers for specific languages. While English is the dominant language here in the United States and Canada, Mexico has the largest Spanish-speaking population on earth. Let’s not forget the rest of the Central American countries as well as the fact that French is a popular language in Canada.

In conclusion, the reason behind the presence of so many Spanish players in our Guild Wars 2 servers is because there is nowhere for them to go. I have always wondered why the Spanish players I’ve met weren't playing on a Spanish server and, as it turns out, they simply couldn’t. I hope that ArenaNet adds new servers specifically for Spanish players at some point down the line. Based on my current experience, Spanish speakers feel like a minority in-game, as the world chat is almost entirely made up of English-speaking players. It may seem as if Spanish players make up a minority in online gaming but, considering the population of Spanish speakers in real life, that simply can’t be true. If Spanish specific servers are created, these players will finally be able to speak freely and form large communities more easily.

#GuildWars2 #MMORPG #linguistics #anthropology #minorities #gaming #videogames #ArenaNet

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