What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ekoloko is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) created for kids that teaches environmental awareness. It has some safety controls in place like "naughty word" filters. The game imparts positive values, and its mini-games educate kids on various parts of the world they can travel to. The game is free to register and play, but premium content requires a monthly subscription, and certain customization requires in-game coinage, which is earned through playing games or bought with real cash.
What kids can learn
- global awareness
Thinking & Reasoning
- problem solving
- achieving goals
- work to achieve goals
- friendship building
- meeting challenges together
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids see character text as they move from place to place inviting them to help in the story or play a game. Visual cues show them where to move to find the next activity.
Games provide positive messages and impart information about environmental issues, so kids learn while playing the mini-games and interacting with characters.
The game has excellent help and tutorials. Extensions are found throughout the game. Character profiles show achievements and quests completed.
What's it about?
In EKOLOKO, kids travel a virtual representation of our world. As they travel, they meet characters of all shapes and colors. Some are other kids represented by avatars, while others are in-game characters who provide quests. Players learn about the ecology of different countries from the story and play mini-games that are themed around helping the environment. The game also engages kids through its blog, and there are other activities such as a school schedule and a sticker designer. Kids can communicate with each other using a drop-down menu or via moderated chat.
Is it any good?
There are a large variety of mini-games in this MMOG for kids and enough content to keep them occupied for hours. There are trivia games, memory games, and farming games as well as variants of casual games such as bubble shooters and match-3's. All of these mini-games are dressed up in environmentally friendly themes with activities such as helping in the glass-recycling factory or sorting items for recycling. Kids start out immediately with a home farm and a tent house, to which they can add furniture.
Although the tutorial is voiced, the rest of the game is not, so younger kids might need some help with reading. Older kids will find plenty to keep them occupied as they solve environmental problems through gameplay.
Families can talk about...
Parents can talk to kids about the environment. Why is being environmentally conscious important? Why is recycling an important household activity?
Families also can discuss the impact of pollution on wild animals, focusing on the wild-animal pets kids have in the game.