What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids must register to save and share their creations on this game design site, but they can play other user-created games without signing in.
What kids can learn
- making new creations
- using and applying technology
- digital creation
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids will enjoy creating games, sharing them, and playing games created by other kids -- the quality can vary, but there are dozens to choose from. Gives kids a chance to be creative, then test and share the results.
In theory, Sploder could reinforce learning by pointing out how grids work and what math and science principles are being displayed. The site activities are really more for fun, and aren't likely to give kids much experience building a game.
Some feature demos with usage tips, but younger kids may still find the game-building process a bit confusing. Users can post questions and game comments, but there also isn't much opportunity for individual feedback.
What's it about?
Using several online tools, users can create and share a variety of games on SPLODER. The functionality is fairly easy to figure out; users can pick from prefab images or create their own graphics and drag and drop items into place. However, only two of the tools feature demos, so some kids may still find the game building process a little confusing, and instead opt to play, rate, and comment on dozens of user-submitted games; friend other users; add to their online profile; or post questions on the site's forums.
Is it any good?
SPLODER lets kids design different types of games using four tools. Some feature demos with usage tips; but younger kids may still find the game building process a bit confusing without help from an adult. You can also play user-submitted games -- the quality can vary, but there are dozens to choose from. The site has a few iffy aspects: Games and comments, for example, appear almost instantly once you create them, which could allow questionable language to be posted. However, the overall content is pretty tame, and Sploder gives kids a chance to be creative, then test and share the results. Just to be safe, though, parents may want to change their child's profile settings to block comments and the ability to friend other users, since it's easy to connect with strangers who have also registered.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how anything you publish on the Internet can be seen by the general public -- along with any profile information. What information would you not want to include in your profile? Would you list the town where you live, even if you don't include your real name?
When you played some of the other games on the site, did you find them fun or confusing? What kind of directions would help your game be very easy to understand?
You can drag and drop many of the game elements right onto the game you made, but if you look closely, you're working off a grid, just like you would when creating a graph in math class. Why did you choose to place the objects and other game elements where you did? If you were to draw your game on graph paper, how would it look?