Miitomo Stars

Miitomo: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Posted by | Feature, Mobile, Tips for Parents | No Comments

When I try to sum up Miitomo, Nintendo’s first-ever mobile app, the best way I can think to do it is The Sims meets OkCupid (for kids). You’re picking cute outfits and accessories for a digital version of yourself or someone else depending on your preference (as in The Sims) and answering all kinds of random personality questions to help other folks get to know you (just like dating site OkCupid).

In typical Nintendo form, some design features are bizarrely clunky, others are intuitive and clever. Let’s break it down. Read More


Teaching Math With Hearthstone

Posted by | Feature, Mobile, Opinion, PC, Tips for Parents | No Comments

When I was a kid in elementary school, I was already deep down the rabbit hole of video games, thanks to getting an Atari 2600 at 4 years old. I was naturally good at math, but one thing that I still remember to this day was one of my cousins giving me the Pac-Man card game that Milton Bradley published in the early ’80s. The game was designed to teach basic math facts disguised in Pac-Man dressing. You played cards in rows of three: outside cards were numbers of pellets and the Pac-Man card in the middle had the operator. So you scored points based on the equation. Naturally, I loved it. My parents credited that game with teaching me multiplication and division long before it was taught to me in school.

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New Study Examines Language & Literacy Apps

Posted by | Mobile, News, Tips for Parents | No Comments

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center and The New America Foundation have just released a new study called “Getting a Read on the App Stores: A Market Scan and Analysis of Literacy Apps.” The study examines 183 popular language and literacy apps for kids from three popular markets: Amazon, the Google Play Store, and the iTunes App Store. They specifically focused on apps that had made it into “Top 50” lists (both paid and free) on these platforms, or apps that had recently won critical acclaim from expert websites. (The study began in 2014, but the report was only just released.) Read More