Yesterday Carter told me he felt sick, which could be any number of things: the smoke from the forest fires, missing Daddy, maybe a real cold.
A while back, for ParentDish, I wrote about how Carter loves computers. The deal is, when he’s sick, no computers. Instead, he can do quiet things, like reading, or sleeping, or watching videos while lying on the couch eating saltines and sipping watered-down ginger ale.
So yesterday afternoon, after a morning of books and checkers and naps, it seemed like a good time to break out the Jurassic Park Explorer DVD Game. The folks at Brighter Minds Media sent it to me, after making a connection through Dawn’s Get Them Blogging! (I think she’s still signing up new bloggers, if you are interested go here.)
Where to begin? Maybe with me when I was Carter’s age, sitting in front of a console television. My game of choice, when I was sick, was Asteroids. A black screen (space), an orange triangle (my spaceship), white dots (stars) and occassionally, a circular-ish blob (other spaceships, maybe planets, it’s unclear). That was MY computer game.
The times, my how they’ve changed!
Movie-quality graphics. Life-like animation. Music. The DVD can be played in coordination with a board game, or you can play it on its own (if you were in a car, say, or if you had two 4-year-olds who kept rearranging the playing pieces.)
And the very best thing about it: it was inspiring. All the kids were learning. Bennett went to the shelf and took out a book about dinosaurs and slept with it at bedtime. Avery found his stuffed Stegosaurus and took that to bed. And Carter made up his own game, in which the cards you win while playing the DVD version have a great, epic battle, herbivores v. carnivores, that involves much roaring and screeching.
I have a love/hate relationship with Carter’s computer. I love that he loves it, but I worry about this new technology, which wasn’t part of my growing-up years. The Jurassic Park Explorer DVD Game is like an answer to a little prayer: it’s interesting to him. It’s educational and creative, so I feel good about spending our time on it. And it’s something we all can do, together.
There’s one more thing. At the end of the game, there are three pages of credits. All those names, all those people. People who might have loved computers as a child; men and women who turned this love into their life’s work–building educational, computer-animated games for children. Maybe someday, Carter will be one of them. I can’t wait to see what he’ll create.
Because I love this game, I want to keep it. But I want to share it with you, too! So I’m offering a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com, which I hope you’ll use toward its purchase. If you’re interested, put your name in the comments and I’ll do a drawing at the end of the week.