I'm taking a break from my blog-a-day pattern...rather, giving you a bonus blog (I know you're all a-flutter). I want to introduce you to an online educational video game site called Poptropica. It was invented by the brilliant minds at the company I work for, Pearson. Folks in my part of the company first heard about it last week when CEO Marjorie Scardino came for a visit and made a presentation about the state of the company (we're doing well, despite the pathetic economy!).
I plunked around on it this afternoon and have decided it must be more mind stimulating than PlayhouseDisney.com, so I think I'll let Henry have a whirl.
Players get to create an avatar to represent themselves, based on their age and gender. I was an odd, froggy-looking redhead. Can't remember her name. She looked like some creature from A Bug's Life. Also, the players' ages can only go up to 15, so she has a bored teenage girl expression on her face and occasionally looks as though she might be rolling her eyes. I might be imagining that, though.
As the FAQ explains: Poptropica is a free, subscriptionless, virtual online world in which kids can travel, play games, customize their character, compete in head-to-head competition, and communicate safely with each other.
I'd invite you (and or your young'uns) to take a look, try it, take it out for a spin. You can make your character jump and roll and move from place to place, world to world, reading and planning, gathering clues, solving mysteries.
Let me know what you think. Especially if you dig it enough to buy the shameless promotional materials the site is hawking. It's not legitimate unless you can buy a T-shirt featuring it, I guess.