Today I welcome one of my favorite collaborators, Russell Ginns, as a guest blogger. Russell is a writer, designer, and producer of kids media and creator of things that do not yet exist. Most recently he and I worked on Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read together.
My girls are scared of many things. Okay… everything. They get nervous if it starts raining on Dragon Tales. And we don’t go to baseball games, because of those giant president mascots that run out during the seventh inning stretch.
I have been fairly successful at shielding them from grizzly, ghoulish imagery. Yet we are bombarded continuously. (I pity the family who has to sit at a bus stop, surrounded by a 13-foot 3D poster for the movie Beowulf, featuring a gory half-burnt monster face, replete with fangs and bloody eyeballs.)
Meanwhile, zombies are on the rise in our pop culture. In 2009, they seem to have edged out pirates at the great all-purpose avatar.
Face it. If we’re going to be able to go outside at all, my girls need toughening. They need zombie tempering.
Enter the great and wonderful Plants vs. Zombies.
This is a fun and funny downloadable game where you must stop an endless wave of zombies from entering your house by arranging plants in your backyard. It’s addictive, well-designed and, above all, hi-larious.
…And it’s a great, gentle introduction to the zombie zeitgeist. As all games end with the inevitable crunching sound of brains being devoured, I was delighted to find my girls laughing—as opposed to running to the other end of the house.
This is not a puzzle game. This is a vital parenting tool. Urban imagery inoculation.