The iPhone and App Store, Defining New Terms

The iPhone was such a phenomenal technological tidal wave that is was named by Time magazine as the “Invention of the Year” for 2007. Even now it is easy to see the impact the device has made with all the companies coming out with their own version. Has anyone seen the Android? People surprised to see one would most likely be made fun of. For that reason what will not be found here is a description.

As with all new ideas there comes the ever-growing world of terms associated with said innovation. One new word that came with the iPhone: App.

What are Apps? This is where the fun begins. With the iPhone come the phenomena known as “Apps”, short for ‘applications’. These are software programs custom-made by a third-party for both the iPhone as well as the iPod Touch. A lot of these software devices may be quite practical, anywhere from paying bills online or to find the definition for a certain word. Then there are the fun ones, like Starblaster that includes a phaser-like weapon and something that looks much like a tricorder, as in Star Trek.

There are also Apps for many kinds of games or Apps geared toward finding out the latest on a particular celebrity. Some of these are available for free. Others are a few cents on up to a few dollars. These Apps can be acquired online through the web on a computer or directly through an iPhone by way of Apple’s iTunes through their “App Store”, appropriately enough.

Obviously, the most fun Apps are the games. With a little looking around one can find some pretty addicting games for no cost at all, like FallDown! For those games with a price tag, there’s a game called Spore Creatures where the player can create their own denizens and watch them evolve from primordial ooze and inhabit the environment for a few bucks.

Apps have become so popular there are now Apps to find Apps, like Appfinder and Chomp. These Apps help the user through what appeals to them. A few come with reviews of the Apps available. Just like what was true about the old board games is equally true about game Apps. Some may be uninspiring or just plain boring along with the truly fun ones. Either way there is a whole new take on how to occupy oneself.

All Your Favourite Car Games, and New Ones, Too

Satisfy your need for speed playing all your favourite car racing games in a virtual environment.

Devoted gamers believe that Steve Jobs invented the computer mouse so that computerized car racing games would become both easier and more exciting. Once the mouse empowered a user to turn the cursor at oblique angles and trace curves, the horizons of virtual car racing stretched all the way out to the end of the infinite…and beyond. Simple as they are, car racing games remain among the most popular both on the internet and on handheld wireless applications. Those same devoted gamers believe Steve Jobs invented the iPhone’s motion sensor strictly for the sake of improving car racing apps.

You probably know that car games are deceptively simple: Follow the race course going as fast as you possibly can. How hard can that be? You’ve been following the same basic principles since you played car racing games on your old Commodore 64 system. Except that now, with the advent of 3D and a few other high-tech complications, game developers can bank the turns, create more dramatic spin-outs, and make the steering both more demanding and more precise.

Build your skills with “Dune Buggy.”
You may have been the Jimmie Johnson of your game console circuit, but playing car games with your computer requires adapting your skills; instead of a joy stick and a couple of buttons, you have your mouse or touchpad, your arrow keys, and your space bar. Online car games require their own unique set of skills and multi-tasks. Expect to crash spectacularly and burn in great balls of fire your first few times around the track. Of course, everybody knows “the fails” are as much fun as the great races.

Try “Dune Buggy,” one of the most popular entry-level car games at the internet’s most popular virtual arcades. “Dune Buggy” teaches you to move with the arrow keys and jump with the space bar, challenging you to navigate over, under, around, and through a variety of jumps, dips, and obstacles as you make your way through an off-road race course. Purely a game of speed and dexterity, “Dune Buggy” gets you in shape for more sophisticated car games, and you will know you are prepared for greater challenges when the trustworthy old buggy grows tiresome.

Advance to “FMX Team.”

Okay, strictly speaking, it is not a “car” game, but it counts among the leaders in the larger genre of driving games. FMX Team tests just how well you can manoeuvre those arrow keys and the space bar as you take your motorcycle through a series of tricky motorcycle stunts. The screen shows you the dirt track; a box in the screen’s upper left corner shows your stunts. You may choose among three different bikes, each equipped for different performance characteristics. As you get more comfortable with the game, you naturally will select the bike best suited to your style and level. FMX Team takes you through fifteen progressively more difficult levels; and, by the time you reach level 15, your fingers will fly around your keys so fast your friends will see just a flesh-tone blur.

Child Learning Game – Are Educational Games Online Any Good?

A lot of parents make the mistake that any educational games online are good for their children. However, most of these parents underestimate how much money children plow into internet websites, simply by virtue of browsing and clicking. With this in mind, you should be aware that many websites simply put any old game up in order to get people to click their ads.

However, there are many sites out there where you can find educational games online that are both good for your children, and do not lead them on to dangerous or pornographic websites. I advice you to use parental control software program. It gives you the ability to hold children accountable, and provide security measure to protect them. Young children are impressionable and by being able to see their activities online with PC Tattletale, it helps to know where to aim the conversations and activities.

Educational games online are generally limited by the fact that they must be web-browser based. This is not a problem for math games, word games, or basic activities, but if you want to get a fully-interactive and comprehensive educational game for your computer, you will probably have to walk into a software store. However, educational games online can be an excellent, cheap way of teaching your children important concepts and skills.

At Kidsgames.Org website you can find over 900 educational games online that are all good for developing various skills used in school. These educational games online are suitable for children up to age ten. If your child is over that age, try looking at Nobelprize.ORG website where you can find a few educational games online that are based around the work of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates.

As an elementary school teacher, and a member of the “old school”, I was a little skeptical when children started to play educational games online. Since then though I have realized that as long as the children are guided and watched over properly they can easily find educational games online all by themselves, or with a little nudging. Once you find a good selection of games it is easy to encourage the children to play these games and learn the skills they have to teach. Often these are math or language skills, but there are also social values and ethics embedded into educational games online as well.

Microsoft is on the verge of unleashing a new technology that will allow multiple children to play educational games online at the same time. By using multiple mouses which control multiple pointers, children will be able to work together in groups of up to five – all playing the same educational games online. This will allow greater classroom cooperation and improve group work.