Yesterday was a good day to spend with my son. We ate dinner together and just talked. He asked if we could play a game to close out the day, and I agreed. Since he’s almost done with his first year of school, I wanted to see how he’d do at Scribblenauts Unlimited. The last time we played I had to read it to him, and I wanted to see how he reacted to things when he could read and make the decisions. I learned how kids play games differently that adults do.
Not all work and no play
When asked to replace an old building I got to see his 6 year old mind really shine. He removed the old building with a bomb. Then he wanted to place a Disney hotel. When he saw that option wasn’t available he just asked for a fun hotel. He laughed as he watched the hotel bounce about the screen. We removed it, and he said he thinks we should put in a bouncy castle. When the person he helped loved it and the whacky waving inflatable flailing arm tube men appeared, he was ecstatic.
Focused on the task
It’s funny how with each little mission he focused solely on solving the person’s problem. Beyond the previous example, very rarely did I see him dream up something crazy or even “kid-like” to get the problem figured out. For example, someone was hungry. He gave him an apple. Someone wanted to learn something. He gave him a book. Most of his suggestions were very matter of fact and to the point.
When he was asked to help an old woman who was tired of standing. His response was to give her a wheelchair. His reason was because she was old and needs to sit down, but she can still go places.
One of the funnier moments was when a cannibal wanted to eat at a restaurant. When I explained what a cannibal was (in a G rated fashion), he did everything he could to get the cannibal to eat something other than a person. He even tried a raw steak. It’s good to see he had a moral compass (until his desire for that starite overrode those morals and sadly fed him a person).
What’s great about Scribblenauts Unlimited is using your imagination or trying something new to solve problems. For a child, at least my son, he focused on helping people (except for that moment when he fed a human another human). This isn’t wrong at all. For him, this was an exercise in problem solving. That’s okay.