Freerice is an example of a really great serious game. For those of you who are new readers or new to my game designer lingo, a serious game is a game where the objective is more than just entertainment. In a lot of cases, serious games are used for educational purposes or to help make the world a better place. In the case of Freerice, it does both. The player gets to learn about lots of different topics and the better they are doing, the more rice gets donated to third world countries that need the food. What could be better?
Well, how about it being really really simple to play. So, you want to expand your vocabulary? Start with level 1 and get some nice easy questions, sending rice to people who really need it. Then you start hitting words you don’t know and you learn. Each subject has a different number of levels.
Any time you’re playing and you get something wrong, it tells you what the correct answer was and then just keeps going on. After a couple more questions, it will go back to the ones you got wrong and keep cycling like that until you get the correct answers.
It takes about 10 minutes to donate 1000 grains of rice. Sure, that’s not much, only about 3/4 of a cup. But that could be a child’s dinner. And if you, me and everyone else just logs on for half an hour a day, we could feed the world. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Sure the game has no flares, but that’s alright. Its worth it to play. I strongly suggest you check it out. Freerice gets 5 out of 5 hearts. They do what they do wonderfully.
If you want to play Freerice, it you can find it at freerice.com. Freerice is maintained by World Food Programme.