Over the years, we have bought various Jump Start programs for
our preschool and elementary aged children, with which we had a
ton of fun! So, of course, I was very excited to have the opportunity
to review the online Jump Start and Math Blaster games.
My excitement was dimmed when I got into the games and tried to
play them. I could not make head or tail of how to get around,
and I couldn't even find anything remotely educational in the Jump
Start game. I knew that our 6-year-old would be just as lost as
I was, so I called in the big guns. First, I asked my 13-year-old
granddaughter to play. She plays computer role-playing games all
the time, but she was just as stumped as I was, trying to find
anything educational or even remotely amusing to do. It was difficult
to navigate. So I asked my son-in-law to check it out. He is a major gamer and
even beta tests new games that come out. He was of much the same opinion
I was. He said it was too difficult to navigate, and while there were parts
that his daughter would enjoy, she would never be able to get to them. He
and I both felt that there was too much magic involved in the entire game,
and that there was too much interaction with other people. I am not
too keen on the idea of social interaction for a young child on a game - what
better place for a pedophile to make contact that in a forum like this?
To me, this is a childlike version of an adult video game, and more oriented
to older people even though it has cutesy, childlike graphics. I would like
a much simpler, easier-to-navigate format, with much less "fluff" and easier
access to the learning games, if they are actually in there somewhere.
Math Blaster had my hopes up too, but again I could not navigate through
all the "fluff" to get to the actual math. Since I am pretty computer literate
and not a complete dolt, the only conclusion I can come to is that most children
will not be able to get to the math either.
I was prepared to love these two online forums, and wanted my
granddaughter to enjoy them also, but I really cannot. I am very
disappointed that all the good learning opportunities I had expected
seem to be lost in the quagmire of the gaming, which is much too
sophisticated for young children anyway.