Dreamer Series: Teacher

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Dreamer Series: Teacher Game Poster Image
Teacher simulation does lousy job of showing the job.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Misbehaving chldren are scolded but never change their behavior (and that behavior can be very bad, like throwing cake at the teacher or thowing balls at paint cans in the classroom). Negative gender stereotypes are played up as girls always come to the teacher to report that the boys are up to more mischief. The female teacher also does no academic teaching in the game; she tends to scrapes, plays with the kids, and cleans up after them. The only subjects you see her teach are dance and music. When children find something too hard to do, they ask the teacher to do it for them, which she willingly does, sending out yet another bad message.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The children are terrible role models, engaging in extremely disruptive behavior like food fights and also trying to cheat at exams. The teacher is a poor role model for letting the kids continue to get away with it, and also for conforming to a very strict gender stereotype.

Ease of Play

Difficulty level is based on the player's age (which can be registered as anywhere between 5 and 20). At 20, play can be ridiculously hard; at 5, it is supremely easy.

Violence & Scariness

Children get scraped shins and arms at recess, which the teacher must clean with cotton; the cotton becomes bloody after wiping the wounds. Also misbehaving children throw cake at the teacher, which can splatter on her face and in her hair.

Language
Consumerism

After finishing the game, you get the message, "You did great as a teacher. You should try other jobs." Though not explicit, this can be interpreted as a call to try other games in the Dreamer series of career sims.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while the title Dreamer Series: Teacher sounds like a simulation game about being a teacher, the activities performed by the teacher in this game have absolutely nothing to do with education. Playing as a teacher, you child will get to "teach" nothing other than music and dance. Most of the rest of the time is spent either disciplining children or playing with them. Parents should also be aware that the game reinforces stereotypes that boys are misbehaved and girls are tattletales.

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What's it about?

In DREAMER SERIES: TEACHER, you play as a teacher who conducts her students in music class and demonstrates choreography for them in dance class. She also cuts out pictures for them, puts together jigsaw puzzles for them, jumps rope and plays hopscotch with them, plays them lullabies at nap time (even though they appear to be 7 or 8 years old), tends to their cuts and scrapes, gets them dressed, cleans up after them, scolds them as they try to cheat on tests, scolds them as they try to throw cake in her face, and catches dripping paint cans that the boys knock over with basketballs.

Is it any good?

The Dreamer Series is supposed to be a line of career sims for girls, but Teacher really  misses the mark. No educating takes place in the game. As detailed above, the teacher's time is spent either playing with children, scolding them, or tending to their needs like a babysitter. While it's not necessarily a bad thing to include music and dance classes, it is a big negative to have those be the only classes. As this is a "girl game," it seems to say that those two subjects are the only ones girls would be interested in. The mini-games that make up the teacher's day tend go on for way too long -- 90 seconds can seem like an eternity when it's spent performing the same mundane motion over and over. And even if you are managing to enjoy those mini-games, the game ends after one five-day school week.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various missteps taken by the teacher in the game and discuss better choices she could have made. For instance, when a boy tells her his puzzle is too hard and asks her to do it for him, she complies. What would have been a better course of action? When the boys are throwing balls at paint buckets on the shelves, would it have been wiser for the teacher to put a stop to the bad behavior rather than just try to catch the falling paint?

  • The game offers families a good chance to discuss gender stereotypes. What stereotypical boy and girl behaviors are played out in the game? Do you think those stereotypes hold true in real life?

Game details

For kids who love simulations

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