by Brandy D. Anderson
There’s no doubt that social media has pretty much taken over our entire culture. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram… the list goes on and on. These sites are all great for adults, but what about social media sites for older kids? There’s a wonderful site out there called Scratch where kids can create their own video games, animations, and videos, and some of these creations are surprising complex and really fun. Designed for people ages 8-16, only registered users can comment on projects (with the option to turn off comments on your personal page), favourite, or love (by clicking on a heart) them, and all of the users seem to be polite and encouraging; I’ve certainly never seen a rude comment anywhere. One of the best things about this social media site is that it teaches kids how to code games and animations, skills which are becoming increasingly in demand in our techno-crazy world. The website was created in 2003 and it’s maintained by the MIT Media Lab. A unique aspect of this website is that you can “See Inside” each project’s coding elements, allowing users to see how much work goes into each project. There are a lot of wonderful Scratch accounts, but here are four of the best:
About: “Assassin/Ninja/Knight/Paladin” “What I’m working on: I am working on a game called ZTA (Zero the Assassin) as well as another RPG game called DND, and a game called The Legend (not out yet)” This page has a wonderful mix of original video games, animations, and ‘remixes’. Zackdragon42‘s studio is called DRAGON.INC, and the logo is slick and impressive. Zackdragon42 has 23 public projects, including funny animations, like the one of Link from Legend of Zelda dancing and twirling to ABBA’s Dancing Queen. There are elaborate trailers for his upcoming games like ZTA and The Legend, and the art is amazing. My favourite, though, is the new game DND (BETA). The title screen is flashy and cool, and then you’re transferred to a neat screen where you can choose your “class” (complete with original artistic renditions for each one), and you’re given an impressive amount of choices – 10 (including one ‘secret’ class)! Once you do that, you’re taken to the game (each game on Scratch should have instructions on the side) where you get to collect power orbs so you can defeat the monsters. I also love the music choice for this game, it’s reminiscent of the Christian Bale Batman soundtrack. The best thing about all of DRAGON.INC‘s games is that they’re both exciting and fun, and most of them have funny elements added to them.
About: “My real name is Felix I love Legend of Zelda and many many other games especially fnaf well I’m not going to tell you them all also i watch many Youtubers and anime i like more but that’s all for now” “What I’m working on now: Green monster game remix with eoscar :] and blob world by my self: There are some pretty funny games on this account comprised of 15 shared projects from Demondbunnystutio. One of them is called endlessssssssss barils!!!!!!!!!! and you play as Mario (from Super Mario Bros.) and it’s surprisingly difficult. You have one chance to jump over a big barrel, and if you miss it, you’re instantly dead. It’s pretty addictive actually. However, my favourite game on Demondbunny‘s account is called Blob World Beta. You start out as a cool little multi-hued blob. You’re asked what your name is, and you can type in whatever you want in a little window at the bottom of the game. The blob then gives a friendly answer and you’re on your way. You can move anywhere on the map, including inside of a neat little cave. The animation here is great, and the whole game has a quirky sense of humour that’s very engaging. During your travels you meet a number of characters, including a sassy star, and you can interact with them. Most of the conversations are very funny.
About: “I live on P.E.I Canada i am friends with demond bunny . I like Mario and Team Fortress 2!!!!” “What I’m working on: green monster game 😀 remix” Eoscar has 26 shared projects so far and his studio is Square Games. Green Monster Game 😀 Remix is definitely my favourite on this account, and it’s pretty detailed. It’s really fun because it allows for three players (one uses w,s,a,d, one uses the mouse, and the other uses arrow keys). The characters even have funny little names (Greeny, Browny, and Bluey). Each guy has a few unique special features (Bluey can become a Mech, Browny can become Wario [from Super Mario Bros.], Greeny can use a Nyan Cat Gun, just to list a few). You can go to a shop (which is a bit hidden, but you can find it in the bottom, center right of the game screen) where you can exchange points for in-game goodies like bows, swords, guns, and you can also turn your character in a demond bunny, which looks pretty wicked. There’s another fun multiplayer game, this time with two players, called Fighting Game Start, but this one is more akin to a boxing match than a warrior’s battle.
About: “I’m really imaginative. MWAHAHA! I HAVE A STUDIO FOR MAD SCIENCE! (testing ideas for games) MWAHAHA, *coughs badly* bleh… Ok the moments gone. Also I’m friends with pajama party.” “What I’m working on: Maybe a super smash bros comic… MWAHAHA! ;3 Yay I’m back in the mood!!! Get ready guys! :3” With 82 shared projects, BoosStudio has a lot of neat stuff! There are loads of animations on this page, and the artwork is really great. One of the most recent offerings is an animation for Valentine’s Day featuring Mario, Link, Sonic, and Kirby called Comic 3 Valentine’s Day Special…sorta. One of the things I really enjoy about this page is the random and fun animations, like you’ll find in What I draw when I’m bored… I love BoosStudio‘s unique and personalized style. There are also a few games, like Zelda Green Light Red Light! :3 One of my favourites on this account is Doodle Pen! where you can make a flashing trail of custom-made brightly coloured little animated images of flowers, flames, and rain drops. There’s also a cool animated plea for everyone to read more, a sentiment which I particularly applaud.