I will be the first to admit that I love the games on Facebook. I have played my share of Farmville until I got bored with it (with took a few months) and I’ve played Petville and Frontierville as well. The latest game I was addicted to was Cityville. I really enjoy these type of games and for the first few months that I play them, I am sometimes obsessive. So yes, I am one of those people who sends requests from time to time!
As a parent, I now see them in a different light and I have spent some time thinking about how much time I would want W spending on these games. I have students at school who play on Facebook and play the games. I don’t think the games are harmful but I do think that I would prefer my child be doing things like homework, reading, playing outside, and playing games or doing things that get their creative juices flowing.
Recently I had the opportunity try a game on Facebook that is a bit different from the other games I have played. A Better World is a Facebook game that promotes doing good int he real world and in the world online. It encourages players to have compassion for others and encourages people to take time to reflect on their lives and the things they are thankful for in their lives. The activities in the game are values-centered and they add a new layer of interaction to social gaming. The game is designed to help people playing to feel better about themselves and their lives and to be supportive of each other. This is the first game of its kind that I have ever had the chance to play!
What I enjoy about this game is that it is extremely similar to other games I have played on Facebook and has a number of features I know my students at school would enjoy. You can choose your own character and shop for clothing for your character. We have some programs at school that allow my students to do this and it is one of their favorite features. While playing the game, players can also earn points for doing positive activities and these points can be used to purchase items for your character’s house.
Overall, I would say that the graphics in this game are decent. They are better than many other games I have seen, especially those targeted more towards children. The graphics are not up to par with the games I mentioned earlier, but I was pleased with the animation, the colors, and the flow of the game. I love the character education part of the game. I can definitely see kids enjoying this game while developing good character and learning about making good choices in life. That is something I have not found in other games on Facebook!
As you travel through the game playing you encounter a variety of locations that all fit within the theme of the game. The “Gratitude Grotto” encourages players to reveal what they are thankful for and express their support for messages left by others. The “Heart Cart” lets anyone send love to friends or other players while the “Department of Do Good” is a place you can share real world good deeds you’ve performed and see what other members of the community have done.
A Better World was created by ToonUps, a digital entertainment company that has focused on developing digital content that encourages a positive outlook and altruistic behavior for more than a decade. At ToonUps, they have discovered that research shows being encouraged to think about things you are thankful for and doing activities that provide encouragement to others improves mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. As a mother and a teacher, I believe we need as much of that as we can!
You can play A Better World at http://www.facebook.com/ABetterWorld.
Have you done any good deeds lately? How do you plan to help your child build their character?
Formula Mom Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on A Better World. I received a $50 gift card as a thank you for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.