Poptropica has hit the PR area lately with stats and such (Virtual World News, and Virtual Worlds Forum). I was a bit confused at first as to why I hadn’t heard of it before… and then, being a quick eyeball-dismisser, I associated it with those kiddy-food-mishmosh sites (Millsbury, Postopia, etc) once I saw the name “Pop” and “Tropica” (thinking Pop Tarts and Tropicana Orange Juice).
But silly me… it has nothing to do with such sites. It’s actually a REALLY KICK ARSE EDUCATIONAL SITE. No really. I’m serious. I was UBER impressed with just about everything: from the fun avatar builder, ALMOST INSTANTANEOUS non-barrier world entry, uber-safe features (no personal info, canned goofy chat), to tongue-in-cheek educational humor (“Kid, this is just a job” – museum kid dressed like a shark).
Their multiplayer games are totally educational without BEATING you over the head (made me use my brain… got my rear kicked by other tater tots roaming the world).
It’s a site with its priorities = making education a casual-gaming, fun environment that doesn’t try to be more than just what it is. The site doesn’t make you dedicate yourself, or trick you into thinking it’s either really education or not educational at all. Again – a fun environment that makes casual gaming valid and interactive.
I’ve only been playing there for two days, but I’m telling you – this is a really well planned site from people who enjoy… well… everything. Reminds me of gamers who appreciate the educational site of gaming, but don’t want you to feel anything less than happy and chill.
I haven’t found anything yet to raise flags about or poo-poo. Seriously, I’m pleasantly surprised. Let me know if you see something I don’t, or if you agree, or if you have a separate point to make. And if you dig it as much as I do, share it with your local teachers/educators/parents. Every now and then I hear a “HARK, ART THOU APPROPRIATE FOR EDUCATIONAL AGENDAS?” call… and this is one of those places I would respond with a “YAY, THOU SHALT SEE POPTROPICA. TIS GRANDETH.” 😉