What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that IF... The Emotional IQ Game is an adventure game that helps kids age 6 to 12 develop the skills that lead to emotional intelligence. Inspired by the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling, the app leads kids on a quest that promotes self-awareness and positive social communication. Kids create their own dog avatars and travel through Ziggurat, a glittery fantasy world, fixing things in the environment and collecting "energy creatures" called Vim to cleanse them of dark energy. With the help of a wise Zen-like master, YouDog, kids think about and exercise choices related to core social and emotional learning (SEL) skills such as gratitude, helpfulness, and regulation of fear. Characters use language such as "Let's find a win-win" and "This is really frustrating and scary" to help kids learn problem-solving and emotional vocabulary. As YouDog sends kids on missions, they practice skills such as teamwork, grit, and patience. Parents can view a report on a kid's gameplay and skills practiced for each chapter. This first chapter is free; all chapters thereafter require a paid subscription.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
Thinking & Reasoning
- perspective taking
- handling stress
- identifying emotions
- labeling feelings
- friendship building
Responsibility & Ethics
- making wise decisions
- respect for others
Health & Fitness
- mental health
Engagement, Approach, Support
Beautiful visuals and high-quality gameplay create a fun, engaging learning experience. Older kids may become so absorbed in the quest that they finish the entire first installation of IF... in one session, whereas younger kids may need more time. Either way, kids can continue to play and explore in the fantasy world after completing the quest.
Wise YouDog discusses situations, feelings, and problems that kids' avatars encounter on the quest. The information presented is curriculum-based and includes communication and emotional-intelligence-building skills. Reinforcement and comprehension happen as kids choose responses to those situations and conversations.
The app guides kids through the quest with visual cues (such as blinking arrows), verbal instructions, and written information. Adding a map to help kids move through the different areas of the world could help kids better orient themselves to where their avatar is located and where they want to go next.
What's it about?
Create an avatar and begin the quest by following the verbal and written instructions and blinking arrows. Tap on and hold the arrow icon to move your avatar around the fantasy world, and then listen to YouDog's wisdom. Answer questions by tapping one of the sentence options below. Players cleanse wild Vim of dark energy through nonviolent, one-on-one interactions. Once Chapter 1 is complete, kids can move on to Chapter 2.
Is it any good?
Exploring the beautiful fantasy world of IF... THE EMOTIONAL IQ GAME can help kids naturally absorb the valuable social and emotional lessons seamlessly built into the quest's gameplay. These lessons may help kids navigate potentially troublesome situations such as bullying, test anxiety, and everyday frustrations in the real world -- especially if parents and teachers reinforce these lessons by using the same language and promoting the skills (such as deep breathing) characters model on the app.
Depending on a player's age, level of concentration, and interest in quest-style games, one chapter of IF... may take anywhere from about an hour to multiple play sessions to complete. Chapter 2 includes different SEL skills lessons and adds more complexity to gameplay, with the addition of more things to find and more difficult terrain to navigate. The addition of a map (so kids can orient themselves to where their character is in the fantasy world) could improve this already highly engaging experience. IF... is a tremendously fun way for kids to learn emotional-intelligence skills.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about and use some of the key words found throughout IF... -- such as "admire," "grateful," and "calm" -- and distinguish the difference between "sad" and "mad" to help your kid develop a broad and accurate emotional vocabulary.
IF... provides some excellent discussion starters in the dialogue options between characters and the player's avatar. For example, discuss why some ways of responding socially promote social connection more than others. When a character makes a positive remark to your avatar, explain why "I feel grateful" is a better response than "I don't think I'm lucky."
Refer to some of the suggestions provided to characters on IF... in everyday situations with your kid to help him or her ride the ups and downs of emotions. For example, one suggestion that YouDog provides to characters is to take a deep breath and intentionally relax muscles during times of stress or frustration.
|Devices:||iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad|
|Pricing structure:||Free, Free to Try, Paid|
|Subscription price:||$20.99 for 3 months; $35.99 for 6 months; $59.99 for 12 months.|
|Release date:||July 25, 2014|
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship|
|Publisher:||If You Can|
|Minimum software requirements:||iOS 6.0 or later|