Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kongregate Overview

A little like Neopets but with a darker, older interface that appeals more to older kids. And it should because many of these games require more of the player than the games at Neopets.

That doesn't mean we quit Neopets, it means we added another membership for those days that we're wanting more complex/demanding games.

We still kept Neopets for those days that we want to eat warm soup, look at bright, happy colours and play games that are 'friendlier'.

Let's face it, as homeschoolers we know that transition from one level to another is not the same as going from Monday to suddenly being Tuesday. It's more like: Monday, Tonday, Tunday, Tuenday, Tuesday.... Then we slip back to Monday again for a while but advancing to Tuesday more quickly during the second transition.

Anyway, it's free to join and no charge for the games. This makes it a great free game place worth joining because of the wide variety of skills that many of their games help build without the player really being aware (simply because they're too busy having fun).

During play, the member (like in Neopets) earns points for playing games but also for rating games, giving reviews, etc. There are also special badges that can be earned... and believe me *that* can be a real thrill and something that kids think is worth talking about at the dinner table.

The badges are good items to get as they show certain skill levels have been acquired (speed, practice, etc.) A great place to start is with Fancy Pants because it's the easiest badge to earn and really gets you wanting more. (Yes, I'm speaking from personal experience.)

One of the better points of this site is that you get added point for uploading a game that you've made.


Don't know how to make a computer game? Well, there's no time like the present and no place like Kongregate (that I've found so far). This is the place where you can track down the makers (like the guy who created Fancy Pants - a favourite of our whole family from our toddler through to the adults) and ask them questions. Many of them have blogs and are more than happy for any feedback they can get, as well as being happy to help a school-aged kid get started in the newish realm of game creation.

Talk about a cool challenge!

And even if the kids think, "No way, I'd never be able to make a game!" Every time they're playing a game, there will be that little voice in their head that reminds them that *someone*, *somewhere* sat at a desk and uploaded this thing that was created (most probably) in a home, by someone 'youngish'.

Kongregate Home


Jim Greer said...

This is very cool! One thing I'd like to point out is that our site is, unfortunately, not totally appropriate for young children to use without some supervision. Some games are violent and the site is frequented mostly by older teens and adults. In fact kids under 13 can't create an account because of children's privacy laws.

Having said that, I love the idea of kids getting inspired to create games because of our site. I started making Apple 2 games when I was 11...

Jim Greer
CEO, Kongregate

KimS said...

Thanks for the reminder Jim.

Our computers are located in our family room and kitchen (that are connected) so no one is ever on the computer unsupervised.

I absolutely agree that there are many games that are not for younger children and am happy to know that your site is all the more 'safetied' for younger children.

Kudos and thank you for the added education for all of us!

Kind regards,