9Frog Fractions is a remarkable mashup of all of the games one might encounter on a school computer, one leading into the next. Dig in, dive in– it’s like being a kid in the 90s and knowing how to use a dos prompt. No longer restrained to the game they have assigned to you for the hour, you now have the choice of what to play.
Too bad most of the games on school computers were (and, I imagine, remain) terrible educa(t)ional games.
And why are educational games so terrible, anyway? Games are fundamentally about learning systems, all one needs to do to make a half-decent educational game is to make a half-decent game which incorporates the material being studied into the gameplay. This should be particularly easy to achieve for mathematical subjects, since most games are halfway there already.
Well, the answer probably has something to do with the fact that they’re not selling these games to kids, they’re selling them to educational boards– groups of adults with extensive preconceived notions about what education is and can be. And it certainly can’t be fun, because it sure as shit wasn’t for them.
Who cares if anyone actually learns anything?
How exciting, then, as a kid, to exceed that. To cast off the shackles of shallow didacticism and see what the world, or a little sub-world in a school computer has to offer. What power!