Why Going Bilingual Not Only Makes Sense But Makes Money


 

100 elementary school kids with our postersLet’s talk about the power of the U.S. Latino market. Wait, you might be asking yourself, a post about Latinos and its not even Hispanic Heritage Month? Yes, we’re crazy like that over here at 7 Generation Games. But seriously, we’re in the midst of completing our AzTech Games series – and when I say midst, I mean in the absolute chaos that comes with trying to get a new product out the door when it’s 80% done, but there’s 20% left to do and school starts in a few weeks.

But, the U.S. Latino market is so important that it warrants taking a few minutes to delve into it. In fact, it’s a market that $1.5 trillion in purchasing power. Let that sink in for a minute because that’s a huge number, yet to often the Latino market is ignored and underserved. When it comes to everything from media to literature to, yes, games, Latinos are underrepresented or completely invisible. That was a driving force behind AzTech Games. Because despite the growing number of Latinos in this country and despite their growing economic influence, not enough was being done.

An abysmal 26% of U.S. high school seniors are proficient in math, but for Hispanic youth, that number drops to just 12%. Yet, they’re going to be competing for jobs in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) driven society. For English language learners, their numbers are even worse – only 6% of E.L.L. eighth grade students are proficient in math and only 4% proficient in reading. These children are overwhelmingly Latino, with Spanish being the native language for an overwhelming number (roughly three quarters) of those kids. We could not accept that – and fortunately for us, neither could the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

AzTech Games was initially developed under a grant from USDA to create a software that could be used for English-language learners in rural communities to teach math and language – building on our previous work. But obviously, we knew it could be so much bigger than the 2.3 million rural ELL market or even the total 5 million student ELL U.S. market. After all, there are more Spanish speakers in the U.S. than in Spain – that is 53 million and counting.

That’s why when some people act like AzTech Games is filling a niche market need we aren’t sure whether to laugh or to shake them. AzTech Games is the FIRST fully bilingual, cross-curricular math adventure game on the market. It can be played in English or as a bilingual English/Spanish experience. Language of instruction is controlled by the player on every single page within the game, including text, audio and video content.

That matters for a lot of reasons. Here’s a few of them: More than 80% of Hispanic adults in this country speak Spanish – but a noteworthy 95% of U.S. Hispanic adults say it’s important that the next generation be bilingual. Not only that, but Latinos are more digital savvy, younger and having more children (which for a company like ours that makes games for kids, that’s good news).  And yet, for some reason, the market remains too frequently overlooked and undervalued.

In the not-to-distant future (in some places, like Los Angeles, the future is now), Latinos will make up the largest demographic in this country – and one has to believe that the companies finding success in that future will be those that understood and adapted to serve the Hispanic market.

At 7 Generation Games, we truly understand the power of the Hispanic market. That’s why we created AzTech Games – teaching math, history and language arts in a fully bilingual game experience. And with $1.5 trillion in purchasing power, we know there’s a little money to go around. Why don’t you use it to back our Kickstarter? You can get “AzTech Games: Chapters 1 and 2” for $1. 

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