About / À propos
A new, innovative language-learning game company
Our Mission & Vision
Philyra Games is all about creating innovative language-learning games, starting with card games.
Philyra is the Greek goddess of paper and writing.
Innovation: We are creating games that are unlike anything you've seen before. Games that go beyond flashcards and classic playing cards into the realm of modern tabletop games. Games that are pushing the fold of language-learning methods.
Motivation: We seek to motivate by putting the fun back into learning languages. While we love gamified learning methods like that of Duolingo, sometimes it really just feels like endless homework. Our hope is that our games will never feel like homework, but instead harness the enormous motivational power of play.
Effectiveness: We are deeply curious about how to learn languages more effectively, especially beyond the early childhood years, and you will feel that in our games. We aim to create contextualized opportunities to learn language: where you are not only learning through the context of the language itself, but through that of gameplay.
Socialization: We recognize that language is inherently social, and that multiplayer games create a more natural language-learning opportunity than solo learning methods. Interaction with other players enhances the language-learning potential of games. At the same time, language use can obviously be independent, and we plan to create games with solo mode options, but never strictly so. Furthermore, the in-person social opportunities of card games allow for co-learning and community-building with one's social circles such as family, friends, and schoolmates.
Immersion: We believe in your potential to learn words without always seeing translations. In fact, seeing translations constantly can sometimes be an impediment to learning, so we aim to teach through context (such as images and gameplay) instead. One of the core aspects of language immersion is the inability to revert to a previously known language. While our games will always include language guides, they are designed to get you actively thinking and speaking in the target language rather than only learning passively.
An example of passive learning opportunities would be the various languages you see intermingled with English on this website, as translations. Passive learning is totally valid and even necessary, but by itself won't create new language speakers.
Tactile/Spatial Experience: Tabletop games offer a uniquely tactile/spatial experience where you can combine written word, spoken word, and also manipulate the game pieces through space. This combination is not achieved with video games, though we think those are awesome, too!
Accuracy: In order to ensure accuracy, we are employing the expertise of native and native-level proofreaders and translators for our games before publication. We also give preference to IPA, dictionary-style, and generalized pronunciation guides over arbitrary ones based upon really imprecise similarities to English.
Who We Are
Philyra Games is a passion project of Lead Designer Luella Lin Garies. Luella is a Taiwanese-German American who has been teaching herself languages since she was 13 and studied Linguistics at Georgetown University. Her current favorite languages are French and Norwegian, and in 2022 she is learning Swahili and Icelandic.
Since becoming addicted to an MMORPG video game at the age of 14, she dreamt of creating games that would teach languages and harness that addictive quality for something she found fulfilling. In her teens and 20s, she dabbled a wee bit in coding for the creation of such games. It wasn't until close friends got her into tabletop games in the pandemic era that she considered making card games, but the spark was immediate. She created her first tabletop (board) game in April 2020 with her best friend and started work on her first language-focused game in December 2021.
Assistant Designer: Anadelia Rodriguez. Anadelia is a native English speaker of Dominican/German descent who learned Spanish primarily through traveling extensively in Latin America. She has also taught English while living in Costa Rica, traveled and lived a fair amount in Africa, and learned a bit of siSwati and Japanese. She is a gaming enthusiast, wordsmith, dancer, refugee officer, and loving cat mom.