Unschooling Resources: Video and Computer Games

This website was started by - you guessed it - a gamer dad. With detailed synopses of every video/computer game, along with reviews that take into account the amount of reading required, the violence level, etc., this site is helpful beyond measure. Also includes a few reviews of "unplugged games," movies and more. Highly recommended! (post #380)

Computer Games

Game Maker
"Have you ever wanted to be able to design computer games, but didn't want to spend countless hours learning how to become a programmer? Then you've come to the right place. Game Maker is a program that allows you to make exciting computer games, without the need to write a single line of code." Also includes a very busy, very helpful forum with lots of great answers for newbies.

From the mind of Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, comes Spore, an epic journey that takes you from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and technology and eventually all the way into the deepest reaches of outer space. It's not out yet, but it's on the way.... (Post #977)

There are several in this series of computer games. Highly recommended for both younger and older kids. Warning: Parents may become addicted, too! You can learn more about Zoombinis in this great (and rather unschooly) article by Zoombini creators Chris Hancock and Scot Osterweil. Not sure yet? You can download demo versions of Logical Journey and Mountain Rescue.

Internet Games

Disney's ToonTown
For younger kids who want to explore the world of RPGs, this is just the ticket. Create a cartoon character, go fishing to earn jellybean money, buy a pet Doodle, play games, make friends, and throw pies at the evil cogs. A great introduction into the world of massive online role playing games.

Millsberry is a virtual city. You create a character, use her/his skills, earn money, go on adventures, etc. Very cool, kid-friendly, and free! (Post #163)

"NationStates is a free nation simulation game. Build a nation and run it according to your own warped political ideals. Create a Utopian paradise for society's less fortunate or a totalitarian corporate police state. Care for your people or deliberately oppress them. Join the United Nations or remain a rogue state. It's really up to you." This site has been around for years, and the game is hugely popular the world over. Very cool!

Some of the most gorgeous games on the web, and they're all free! If you love the beauty of Japanese Amime, this site will be a real treat!

Web Sudoku
"The rules of Sudoku are simple. Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.
Each Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically without guessing." Addictive and free!

Video Games

Harvest Moon
Video games about building and maintaining a farm? Yes! "The best part is...you can do it anyway you want! There is no set path to following...you are in control of how you want to accomplish your goals. Do nothing...nothing happens, do something and something WILL happen!" And, the ultra-cute graphics don't hurt, either! For Gamecube, GBA, GB, SuperNintendo, PS2, and PS.

A surreal, almost psychadelic, game for PS2 in which you roll around a clump, or "katamari," which grows larger and larger as items rolled over stick to it. Controlling the katamari is different each time the game is played because the shapes of the acquired objects affect the way it rolls. (post #254)

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