Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs is an instructive augmented-reality game that requires the PlayStation Wonderbook peripheral, as well as a PlayStation Eye camera and a PlayStation Move motion controller. It's presented as a series of educational chapters, each providing players with information about various species of prehistoric plants and animals. Kids will see realistic animal behaviors ranging from grazing to fighting, but the game stops short of showing anything graphic. It's likely that players both young and old will come away with a better understanding of the biological ecosystems that existed tens of millions of years ago.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- collecting data
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Seeing realistic dinosaurs walking around on a book in your living room is pretty cool, and the activities are compelling and fun.
Concepts concerning prehistoric life are illustrated in a variety of interactive ways, and then facts are presented in card form. Kids are quizzed on what they've learned at the end of each chapter.
The game itself provides good instruction and a wealth of facts. Kids can augment the experience via the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs TV show and the spin-off 3-D animated movie.
What's it about?
WONDERBOOK: WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is an interactive educational experience that makes use of Sony's Wonderbook augmented-reality platform. It requires the Wonderbook -- a cardboard book filled with AR patterns -- as well as a PlayStation motion controller and Eye camera. Kids see themselves on their TVs flipping through the book’s pages, which come alive with prehistoric environments filled with dinosaurs, birds, ancient mammals, and extinct plant species. The narrators -- a man and a woman -- guide the experience, leading players through activities that include dusting off ancient fossils, identifying bones and plants, helping dinosaurs find mates, and even guiding their actions as they fight with one another. They'll earn virtual cards filled with fun facts along the way, then get tested on what they've learned via a quiz at the end of each chapter.
Is it any good?
Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs is a very fun and interactive way to learn about dinosaurs. The activities are fast-paced and diverse, and the game lingers on each only long enough for players to try something new -- such as feeding a dinosaur or roaring to attract a potential mate -- and to learn a couple of cool facts. Then it's time to move on to the next one.
The augmented-reality element is well integrated and works pretty much perfectly in tandem with the PlayStation Move controller. Flipping pages reveals new environments that pop up from the book and feel as though they're in your living room. Players get to intuitively interact with them using the PlayStation wand, chipping away at rocks, using a grabber to collect specimens, or swiping to defend themselves from the attacks of angry predators. Anyone with even a slight interest in our planet's giant ancient reptiles will be enthralled.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about dinosaurs. What do you like and not like about these prehistoric creatures? Do you wish they were alive today? If you could have one as a pet, which would you choose?
Families also can discuss augmented reality. Do you think this is a fun way to learn? Is it more or less effective and immersive than traditional instruction, books, and films?