What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Sailor's Life for Me is a game designed as an online extension to the resources available from the USS Constitution Museum. It is best described as an interactive museum exhibit, with players learning about everything from the parts of a ship to the daily trials and tribulations that sailors faced two hundred years ago and continue to face today. The game itself takes place on the USS Constitution, so the material focuses on American history during the War of 1812. Gameplay revolves around pointing to different objects on the screen and completing a variety of mini-games.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- collecting data
- academic development
Engagement, Approach, Support
Low-quality graphics create a significant hurdle to reeling kids in, and games are limited in what they ask kids to do.
Plopping players into the role of menial laborer is a clever way of helping them connect to the experience.
Explanations for activities are clear, written out, and explained in audio, complete with seafaring soundtracks. It's not easy to find help if a player gets confused, though.
What's it about?
A SAILOR'S LIFE FOR ME takes players back to the War of 1812 and teaches them about what it was like to live as a sailor on the USS Constitution. Players are given encyclopedic descriptions of everything from the preparations that took place to go into battle, to the sleeping conditions of the hundreds of sailors that embarked on the journey. Along the way, players hear various accounts from in-game characters as well as through text descriptions presented on the screen. Players complete a series of mini-games to advance the story.
Is it any good?
A Sailor's Life for Me is admittedly not designed to be a captivating video game experience. It is more of an online educational resource with information about the USS Constitution and the quality of life in early 19th century America. As a game, it fails to truly captivate players. Players often have to click on various rooms within the ship, which comes across as more tedious than anything else, and the mini-games are largely uninspired. Players can elect to skip the mini-games if they get bored. All that being said, the educational information presented about the USS Constitution and the War of 1812 is written in a very accessible and interesting tone. If the gameplay elements are not solid enough to capture the attention of players, the educational content might be, and having an interactive element, however rudimentary, does help with the flow of content.