Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Great online game: Clockwords

Clockwords is an online word game I can't stop playing. (Must. Stop. Playing... Have. Deadlines...)

Here's why it might be good for your child - in moderation, something I'm not particularly good at, so be forewarned.

1) Literacy
The game is based on you (uh, your child, that is) coming up with words, lots of words. But not just any words. You do much better in the game when you come up with words that are long and use "difficult letters" like J and Q rather than, say, vowels. Plus, you get more points if you don't repeat the same words and if you enter a string of words the same length. So it gets you thinking about vocabulary. And spelling is very important because the game won't accept a word that's spelled incorrectly.

2) Typing
You have to type in all of the words, of course. And the faster and more accurately you can type, the better you'll do. I'm a big advocate of kids learning to type, because it helps them get their ideas down faster when they're writing something and it may be an incentive for technology-oriented kids to write.

A synopsis of the game
Like most games, the plotline is a bit fuzzy. Something about a clock-machine and some robot bugs that are eating its documents? Does that sound right? No it doesn't, but stay with me.

You type words into the machine, preferably using the letters that appear on the screen in tubes. Those words are loaded into some kind of blaster and are shot at the bugs. The more letters in the words you choose, the more ammunition to blast those bugs. You win a round by blasting all the bugs so they don't - erm, eat your document? Or something.

Did I mention this is a really good game? Trust me, it is.

At the end of each round you can "buy" letters that have qualities like freezing ability or... OK, I'm going to stop here. It's sounding a lot more complicated than it is.

Just play it.

Thanks to Barte Bonte for pointing out this addictive game. Now, could you please call my publishers and explain why I'm about to miss my deadlines? Thanks.

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