What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mission Migration is a game sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Its goal is to teach kids about birds, including details about their migration patterns, as well as the threats that they encounter on a daily basis. Some gameplay elements involve avoiding objects like pesticides and airplanes, but the birds cannot die. If players fail, the birds simply "run out of energy" and they can try again.
What's it about?
Kids are presented with information about birds, their migration patterns, and general details about their ecosystems as they play through mini-games that are loosely connected to this material. For example, there is an arcade-style mini-game where kids have to avoid crashing into airplanes and other hazards, which is not exactly a realistic depiction of the typical bird migration practice. However, these mini-games keep kids engaged and focused, which helps when the game interrupts the mini-games to present factual content.
Is it any good?
MISSION MIGRATION achieves its goal of presenting a worthwhile amount of information to kids without creating a boring experience. The mini-games are varied and interesting, and should hold the attention of anyone who plays through it. The game does feel a little detached at times, since the gameplay is only loosely connected to the educational material presented throughout the game. The learning material comes directly from the National Audubon Society, so it can be trusted. Kids are likely to learn something about the complex ecosystem and migration patterns of birds. Unfortunately, most of this learning is placed on top of the gaming, instead of being baked into the gameplay.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the balance of Earth's ecosystem. Do you think we will ever reach a point where birds will not be able to migrate properly because of obstacles that humans put in their way? What can we do to help ensure that doesn't happen?
Did you read all the facts that appeared in the game, or just focus on the mini-games? What information did you find to be the most interesting?
Do you think the educational material could have been presented in a more fun and engaging way? If you designed the game, how might you have changed this aspect of it?