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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Imagine Reporter is a game for girls that allows them to play simple mini-games that act as analogs for real-world reporter tasks, such as photography, interviewing, note-taking, and copywriting. The story is filled with strong female role models, including a journalism school teacher, a meteorologist, and, of course, the player’s avatar, Madison, an ambitious young woman who’s always ready for a new challenge. This game is completely free of violence, sex, and profanity, making it safe for younger ages. However, assignments involve a fair bit of reading -- and, in some cases, even some quick writing. It’s best suited for kids of middle-school age and older.
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Girls Can Be Anything They Want to Be
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What’s It About?
Ubisoft’s latest game for girls, IMAGINE REPORTER, places them in the role of an aspiring journalist named Madison who must work her way up in a news agency. She begins as a city beat reporter and slowly takes on more demanding assignments until landing her dream job, the host of her own news show. Players engage in mini-games that are simple analogs for real-world activities, such as moving the stylus to keep a video camera focused on a moving subject, dragging the stylus around the screen to steer Madison’s scooter as she rides the streets in search of news stories, and tapping speech bubbles during interviews to record what is being said. As the game progresses, Madison frequently heads back to journalism school to learn how to perform new tasks, allowing her to tackle more complex assignments.
Is It Any Good?
Imagine Reporter is a simple game, but it’s polished, fun, and at times even a bit inventive. The best mini-games are those that most closely resemble what a real reporter does, such as waiting for a subject to strike a pose before snapping a photograph, or scribbling out notes on the touch screen while listening to an interviewee talk, then referencing them to recall specific facts. Other games, such as one in which you have to remember patterns of depressed keys on a keyboard and then repeat them (it’s supposed to represent writing the story) are less authentic and, consequently, less compelling.
Overall, though, it’s a good game for girls. It gives players a glimpse into the daily routine of a journalist and features plenty of positive female role models. It is a shame, though, that there isn’t an option to select a male avatar. We suspect there are some boys out there who might have reporter aspirations of their own, but, for better or worse, wouldn’t touch a game in which they had to play as a girl.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how closely Madison’s duties in the game emulate those of real reporters. Do you think most journalists actually shoot, edit, and cut their own pictures and video? Which of the game’s activities most closely resemble their real-world counterparts?
Families can also discuss the game’s strong female characters. Women are depicted in roles ranging from professor to meteorologist to starlet. Can you think of other games in which women are portrayed as smart, confident, and driven?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
- Subjects: Social Studies: events, Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension, writing, Arts: photography
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, asking questions, investigation, Self-Direction: achieving goals, initiative, Creativity: combining knowledge, producing new content
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: UbiSoft
- Release date: February 15, 2010
- Genre: Girl
- ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
- Last updated: August 31, 2016
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