Throughout the process of finding my video game, I struggled to find one that was not a drill and repeat type of game. During my childhood, I really enjoyed playing math games that were of the drill and practice style. This is very interesting to me because now when I play those types of games, I get bored very easily and unentertained. When I hear the words “video game,” I automatically think of Super Mario Cart on my Nintendo DS, not math baseball on the computers during computer class in middle school. The term video game is both positively and negatively used within classrooms and schools. This is the Nintendo game that I think of when I hear video game.
My learning circle and I found many video games on PBS Kids. The reason we chose this website, specifically, is because we are all Early Childhood Education majors. Additionally, we have seen this website used in the classrooms we have observed or are currently observing in. We wanted to find an application or website that contained a variety of subjects with a variety of gaming choices. Our goal was to find a website or an app that had a variety of subjects and a variety of types of games. Therefore, PBS fit that description.
Throughout our journey to find our video game, we first started within school subjects such as math, science and English Language Arts. We all thought math would be a good subject to start with, however majority of those games were not appealing, and I felt as if I was doing the same thing over and over again. Therefore, I went back and chose a different subject of games: Engineering. Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build mechanics. The game I chose is called “Hamster Run” from the “Ruff Ruffman Show”.
As soon as you click on the game it says, “Hamster Run!” Then you click the arrow to go to the next page. Ruff Ruffman, the dog, then informs us that these hamsters cannot reach their carrots so we must build a way for these hamsters to get to their food. You are then presented with the options of “Play” and “Create.” However, the “Create” option is blurred out until you beat multiple levels of the “Play” setting. Once you select the level of challenge, then you must choose which hamster you would like to use. For the first level, Ruff Ruffman says “use only the square blocks to get the hamster to the carrot.” As you see below, I must put the square block in between the other blocks so the hamster can reach the carrot.
Then, once the square is placed you press “Go!” Then, the hamster runs to the carrot based on the path you made for him. As you see below, he reached the carrot successfully. You are able to undo your actions or pause the hamster from running on the path.
Now, let’s say I put the shape in the wrong spot, like below. The hamster will be stuck and will not be able to reach his food.
This game is highly interactive, and it keeps children on their feet. It allows students’ to creatively flourish as there are multiple ways to create a path to the food. As the levels get harder, more shapes and lines are unlocked and the constructions/paths you make become more difficult and require some more in-depth problem-solving skills. There are 30 levels within this game, therefore students of all levels could participate in this Hamster Run video game. Once you reach a certain level, you are then able to create your own path, that does not have any starting shapes in the picture.
During my first encounter playing this game, Ruff Ruffman’s voice is what caught my eye. He was very excited to see that I clicked on his game and he told me exactly what to click on in order to start the game. Therefore, as a young child this game can be easily followed due to the clear instructions stated. This game is overall appealing to the eye, presents a challenge to students, and addresses the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.