Ekoloko Game Poster Image

Ekoloko

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Kids learn environmental consciousness in this MMOG.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The goal of the game is to impart positive values, knowledge, and skills to kids to help them take responsibility for their environments. This theme runs through the entire game.

Positive role models

Characters in the game represent peoples from various parts of the world, and all of them exhort kids to do something for the environment in the themed games.

Ease of play

It is simple to navigate the game world, and all games have instructions for play. The tutorial has voiceover, but reading is required. Younger kids may have trouble with the difficulty level of some of the games.

Violence & scariness

Although the game is mostly non-violent, kids do play mini-games like "thump a robot" -- a variant of "whack a mole" -- and characters can fall off trees. Depictions of violence are cartoony with stars appearing overhead.

Language

The language filter has both a black list and a white list. Although typing a swear word will get kids to a screen reminding them of the code of conduct, creative spelling will be blanked out, too, as will numbers. 

Consumerism

There aren't any products/advertisements in the game per se, but kids are invited to join the "pioneer" organization, which requires a subscription fee and opens up premium parts of the game world to them. Certain customization requires in-game coinage, which is earned through playing games or bought with real cash.

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

Subjects

Science

  • animals
  • ecosystems
  • energy
  • plants

Social Studies

  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • memorization
  • problem solving

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • work to achieve goals

Communication

  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

Games provide positive messages and impart information about environmental issues, so kids learn while playing the mini-games and interacting with characters.

Support

The game has excellent help and tutorials. Extensions are found throughout the game. Character profiles show achievements and quests completed.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • animals
  • ecosystems
  • energy
  • plants

Social Studies

  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • memorization
  • problem solving

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • work to achieve goals

Communication

  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Kids can learn about wild animals and environmental issues by playing Ekoloko. They also learn to be environmentally conscious by learning about programs around the world, including water programs and recycling. Ekoloko exposes kids to many environmental issues by building them into the narrative and gameplay of this MMOG.

This Learning Rating review was written by Carolyn Koh

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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?

QUALITY

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.

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:Free/$5.99 month
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Virtual Tweens, Ltd.
Release date:May 31, 2013
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
Topics:Ocean creatures, Science and nature, Wild animals
ESRB rating:NR for Not Rated

This review of Ekoloko was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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