The DA in DASH is about to get a lot more D! London will be the first* non-USA city ever to host a DASH, very exciting! Very international! I’ll be interested to hear more about how this develops and whether or not they’ll still try to run it at the same time as the US cities. (I think that would put the ending around 11pm or midnight?)
This brings up something I’ve been thinking about for a while — puzzle localization. I’m guessing too much won’t need to be done to adapt DASH for players in England (though America-centric puzzles like this year’s Golden Gate Bridge might be avoided), but it might be a lot of extra work to get any non-English-speaking cities involved. Every DASH puzzle this year had a heavy language comportment, and many made wordplay their focus. It might be possible to extract the core concepts of some of these puzzles and redesign them into different languages, but it would certainly be a lot of work!
Are there any types of puzzles that are language-neutral and don’t need any localization (besides maybe basic instructions)? My first guess is the math puzzle, my least favorite. Music is supposed to be the “universal language,” so maybe a music-based puzzle would work nicely regardless of the solver’s native language? Or visual and physical puzzles that don’t use words at all!
I’d love to travel back to Japan sometime in the next couple of years, and sometimes I think about how awesome it would be to either run a puzzle hunt there or play one. Real Escape Game is based in Tokyo, and I’d love to check out some of their newer projects there. But would I even be able to tell what was going on? (My Japanese isn’t that good, especially reading!) And as a designer, I don’t even know how I’d begin to write puzzles for a Japanese-speaking audience.
It might be an interesting challenge to try and make a sort of “universal” puzzle hunt that doesn’t rely on language and could theoretically be played by anyone.
*If you want to help host DASH in your city, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
By the way, GREAT JOB USWNT!! OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS!!!