Sunday, March 19, 2006

Free Online Games-March 2006

When librarians are told to play games, mostly they are directed to Runescape. Is this because the difficulty level makes it unlikely that they will become addicted? Below I have listed some online games that librarians may consider playing, or may offer to patrons.

Neopets- Adopt a pet in Neopia, then spend your time earning money to feed, clothe and spoil your pet. You earn money by playing games. The company is based in Britain. The game has many commercial aspects including name brand items you can purchase for your pet, and Neopets merchandise you can purchase for yourself. Most of the games require Flash.
addictive: 7 out of 10
Violence: 3 out of 10
Age: 8 and up
Other similar games: Virtual Magic Kingdom, Animal Crossing, Sims , and Gaia

Gaia Online- This is not as much a game, but a place to dress up your avatar. You earn points for posting on forums, and walking around the virtual environment. The avatar looks like an anime character.
addictive: 6 out of 10
Violence: 2 out of 10
Age: 11 and up

Lego Club- Lego has many flash games that allow players to build using virtual lego pieces. There is a section for Preschool, and another for older elementary school gamers. I enjoyed playing the interesting puzzle Brick game was an interesting puzzle played with another person.
addictive: 5 out of 10
Violence: 2 out of 10
Age: 4 and up with adult
Other games for a younger audiance: PBS Kids, Learning Planet, FunBrain, and FunSchool.

Lemonade Stand- Remember those days as a kid when you wanted to make money so you sold glasses of lemonade or koolade for a nickel or a dime. Well know you can play this game to analyze the best business strategy for selling this refreshing cold drink. In addition to controlling the amount in your pitcher, you also have to anticipate the weather.
addictive: 8 out of 10
Violence: 0 out of 10
Age: 9 and up

Phosphor- This 3D First person Beta, is meant to be a multi-player browser-based first person Shooter, but when I played there were no other players. The environment is ideal for simulating a first person shooter game, without worrying about the enemy. I spent 45 mins exploring the environment before I quit playing. Surprisingly just walking around in the new environment was fun. (yes I know I'm weird). If you ever wanted to know what playing Halo or Perfect Dark was like, you can try this Beta.
addictive: 4 out of 10
Violence: 10? out of 10
Age: 15 and up
Tommy and the Magical Words - Do you like crosswords? Do you enjoy Scrabble, well you can use your skills honed at many Sunday papers to help Tommy fins his way out of a book. The developers on this game have been nominated by the Independant Games Fesitival for Innovation in Visual Art
addictive: 6 out of 10
Violence: 2 out of 10
Age: 8 and up
Dinner Dash- Help Flo run her own restaurant. Be quick to seat customers, take orders, serve food, and clean tables.
addictive: 5 out of 10
Violence: 2 out of 10
Age: 10 and up

These are a few of the online games available I have by no means talked about all of those available. Feel Free to leave a comment about any other games you know and love.

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