Random Rant, Uncategorized

RANDOM RANT: GAMES NOT HELPING MATHS!

“Mama is one-five-oh-oh-oh bigger than two-two-oh-oh-oh?”

Girl on iPod
photo credit: Dennis Larson via photopin cc

A seemingly random question thrown from the backseat of the car set my brain into action and I need a place to vent. So hello!

What my daughter is asking is ‘I’ve got 15,000 Kibble so can I ‘buy’ something that is 22,000 Kibble’. She’s playing a Pet Shop game on her iPod and ‘kibble’ is the currency. So I try to explain numbers bigger than 100 to her, and that she can ‘ignore’ the last three digits, they are placeholders, and just look at the digits before the comma because she understands 15 and 22.

“I don’t get it”.

Now I try a different way of explaining (all from front to back seat of car, but you have to take these opportunities!). Numbers have groups of three using commas to separate them etc…

“But that’s wrong mama, there’s no comma”.

Aha! I always use a comma in numbers bigger than 999. Apparently the game designer didn’t see the need to include this little mathematical separator. So here’s me trying to give an impromptu math lesson while my daughter’s brain is actually really open to learn it (she struggles with maths, but because this is about her game, she’s listening!) and basic writing conventions haven’t been used.

It kind of makes me want to explore the kids’ games a little more (I always have a look before downloading, check reviews and age levels) to see just what else is missing/misleading. Especially the math games!

I think I had too much time to think this morning!

By the way, if you’re wondering, it’s all pretend, limited to the game with no internet access and she definitely doesn’t know the password to the iTunes account. None of our kids have internet access (at home) on handheld devices and none of them know the passwords to the iTunes accounts. That way we control exactly what downloads onto each device (everything automatically shadows onto our laptop too so no sneaky downloads if internet given at someone else’s house either) and obviously a password to iTunes would give them free rein on our credit card. So not going there!!!

Oh and don’t worry, I’m fully aware this is a first world problem!

Rant Over!

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