Sunday, August 28, 2011

Allied Star Police

At first glance, you might not think there would be educational value with Allied Star Police. And you might be right. But as we go back to school and are reminded of the importance of establishing positive relationships with our students, I couldn't help but share this great story.
I'll let you read the full version here, but the short version of the story is that PopCap granted Owain the wish he had through the Make-A-Wish Foundation - to create his own video game. The developers were amazed when this 10 year old came in with the game all but layed out for them. And then we he came back to review it, he was quick to point out that "this is space, those guys need helmets!" 
How cool is that? I think it's great that PopCap allowed this kid in, but awesome that Owain not only came in and told them what was wrong, but they quickly fixed it up to his specifications. When I downloaded it (yep, it's free!) I told my wife I was doing it to be nice. I mean, why not? I'll let it take up space in my iPad just so he can see people are downloading it. Now, I have resisted the temptation to download Angry Birds because I've heard how addicting it is. Guess what? This is just as addicting. In the game you accumulate money that you can then buy space vehicles with, the goal being to defeat the enemy aliens and destroy their base. It records how quickly you complete this task. And that's where addiction comes in. I'm always trying to figure out a new combination to get me there quicker. There are three different difficulty levels to choose from, and it's easy to jump from one to the other. In the PopCap article, they mentioned cheat codes, which I haven't found (anyone? Please leave them in the comments!).
Educational value? I'm sure you can make an argument for reasoning skills and critical thinking. But either way, it could be a great break for some kids who need a little breather or "reward time." Kudos to PopCap for making Owain's Wish come true. And big time Kudos to Owain for designing such an addictive game!
Cross posted on IEAR.

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