We pride ourselves in exposing the kids to a lot of different activities. Festivals, hobby events, museums and more. Whenever we see an opportunity to introduce them to art, culture, history or different hobbies, we like to take advantage of it.Just the other day, Miss K was telling us all about Sue, the dinosaur, and the battle over who owned her. Apparently her class has been studying a book about the whole discovery and ownership dilemma. It brought forward a family conversation about making a trip to Chicago to visit some of the museums there. Both girls are obviously old enough to now understand and appreciate what all it has to offer.
Then we came across a museum that is having a lot of problems. The exhibits are in shambles and they’re having trouble attracting visitors. It’s a mess and we’re going to help fix it.
No, not the museums in Chicago. The one in Poptropica.
The premise behind this game for the Nintendo DS is that the museum is in ruins and the only way to improve it is to fix the exhibits. As the exhibits get fixed and improved, more guests will come to the museum.
Yeah. Like real life.
So how exactly does the museum get the exhibits fixed? By playing the game, of course! You head off into the various themed areas and complete puzzles and tasks. As you complete them, you acquire artifacts for the museum.
Uh-huh. Artifacts are collected and put on display in the museum. Like real life.
I decided to let Miss K play this game first since she had such an interest in Sue, the dinosaur. (Also because Miss M, our resident all-purpose gamer, was busy.) Miss K likes playing games but the DS isn’t her specialty. Dance games are. Usually, she asks her sister how to play instead of figuring it out on her own but once she gets the hang of it, she’s fine. She was interested in Poptropica but required a bit of my help to get rolling. Mind you, the DS is not MY specialty either so we were trying to figure it out together.
When she started, she wasn’t sure what to do and didn’t understand the overall purpose. She met and spoke with the museum curator and he explained the story but then she got lost. She thought the different islands were just different games. She kept telling me she couldn’t figure out how to get back to the museum nor what she was supposed to do there. After I explained it to her, it made more sense and she was able to navigate it herself.
She ventured to some islands, met different characters and played some mini-games and puzzles. It didn’t take long before I found her lounged out with the game in hand.
A little while later she was showing it off to her sister who was trying to work on homework. I’m not sure if she was asking for help or just showing it to her. Before I knew it, they both were leaning over the game playing some kind of maze.
I think they’re both hooked now and ready to be museum-crazy!
The game provides great insight into how museums put together their exhibits and is a great way to get kids interested interested in visiting a real museum! Yes, it’s a game but I like games that provide some kind of learning experience along the way.
For more information about whether Poptropica would be a great fit for the DS gamer in your family, visit their game page where you can find screen shots, explanations and even a video. Already have it on the list? To grab one to put under the tree, swing by Amazon. #UbiPoptropica