(thesis advisor)Louisa Campbell
“…the action component of the game would consist of throwing marshmallows.” [Laurel22] In 1985 a company called Epyx decided that the solution to the action phase of their Barbie game was to have slower projectiles so that girls would have an easier time dodging them. Back then it was believed that girls didn’t really experiment or play computer games much. These days the options for computer based entertainment directed toward girls has expanded enormously to include such titles as Dora the Explorer, Where in Time is Carmen Sandiago and Tomb Raider. But there is still much content that is steeped in stereotype. This made me wonder if it would be possible to create a form of digital entertainment that was educational, entertaining and empowering?
My answer to this question comes in the form of an online learning game that will encourage girls ages seven to nine to become more familiar with computers while they simultaneously learn about nature and animal life sciences through play.
Using an application called Macromedia Flash5, I built an adventure learning game for girls ages seven to nine that’s based on concepts involving animal life sciences. I have chosen Flash 5 as opposed to later releases as I feel this will allow the game to remain accessible to more potential users. The main focus of the game will be a female character named Noah and her mischievous cat, Toby. Noah’s adventure begins when she makes it home from a rough day at school one dark rainy afternoon, only to find her cat Toby is missing!
During her search Noah magically transports herself into various environments where the secret to finding Toby lies in finding objects called Clue Clusters. They contain hints about the kind of environment that Noah needs to visit in order to find Toby. Finding Clue Clusters also unlocks areas in the map function of the PDA that will allow the player to choose between what types of environments she will visit next.
Initially for the purposes of my thesis, I would only be creating a “miniature” of the whole game. Only one level of the game was explored fully with two additional levels that did not possess full functionality. From past professional experience, I have come to learn that in many cases, even creating the simplest of online games requires a team of people working together.
I ended up exploring the role of Producer within the context of this document in order to better illustrate my understanding of the concepts and processes involved in creating an online learning adventure game.
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