Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Social Gaming Diary

1. Nutrition: Feed the Monster (Health)

This game is supposed to teach children about proper nutrition. It was a very elementary game that required very little skill. The goal is to simply feed a monster food from each food group of the food pyramid. A monster dances back and forth across the computer screen, while the player uses a slingshot to grab onto food items and catapult them towards the monster. Food is continually passing along the bottom of them screen and players are supposed to select nutrition food to feed the monster. Cookies, milkshakes and other junk food passes by alongside vegetables, fruits and whole grain products. Players are supposed to select the healthy food that is part of the food pyramid to toss at the monster. You win by select one food from each food group and successfully feeding it to the monster. The difficultly in this game was actually aiming the slingshot towards the monster and firing the food at him. If you miss you have to keep trying until you hit/ feed the monster!

2. Madrid

This game was intended to be a memorial for the March 11, 2004 train bombings in Madrid. As soon as you enter the game you are met with screen of people holding up memorial candles for the dead. Each person is wearing an I heart T-shirt from a different country or state, such as I heart NY or I heart Paris. The people are of all different ages and have sad expressions on their faces. The object of the game is to click on the candles they are holding to keep them burning brightly. You have to keep clicking as fast as you can so that the wind, which is the only sound effect of the game, will not blow out the memorial flames.

There is a bar across the bottom of the screen that marks the players progress in the game. If you fill up the bar completely you have won. This was a very challenging task however. I found it extremely difficult to keep all of the candles burning bright enough to fill up the bar. The point of the game was expresses very well though and overall I found it to be a great memorial for this tragic event.

3. Oregon Trail

I decided to play this game because I remembered playing it in elementary school! (I’m also from Oregon). This game is supposed to each players about the Oregon Trail and how pioneers traveled West from the Mississippi to the Willamette Valley. Players get to determine the route to take, obtain and use supplies for the trip and design characters. Players encounter numerous problems along the way such as sickness, death and other challenging obstacles. I enjoyed playing this game again because it is informative, but in an undercover way. When one is playing the Oregon Trail, you do not realize that you are learning about how the pioneers traveled across the early United States.

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