Below are a few simple browser-based games I use as occasional time wasters, many with educational potential as well. Note: none (with the possible exception of Global Resistance) are of the Farmville and or Facebook game ilk, which I have a distaste for
- Sweatshop: educational, and fun in a nostalgic 8-bit way. Also: a good, brief write up on the issues it attempts to tackle.
- Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure: a simple, whimsical game recalling the innocence and pure imagination of childhood, made by a 5 year old and her dad. Isn't this a great project for a parent and child to work on collaboratively? Recalls a brief article from Wired magazine (Clive Thompson on Coding for the Masses) that backhandedly calls for coding to become a curriculum requirement; to help educate the masses in digital literacy issues as well as beef up grassroots problem solving in this country.
- Haiku Hero: simple: make haiku's in survival, deadline or endless mode, but you must use words provided by the game and you get rated on quality.
- Global Resistance: no educational value at all! Is a social-strategic war game that ties into the upcoming Resistance 3 console game. So far shows a good balance of cooperative and competitive play and and simple strategic play.
- The Trader of Stories: a point and click adventure with a soothing soundtrack and a great art style.
- Moonlights: a World of Goo block building clone - addictive and fun.
- Knoword: a simple word game where you're given a definition and the first letter of the word and you have to fill in the rest of the word within a time limit to move on to the next word. Fun and helps build vcabulary at the same time!
- Rebuild: a tough to master but easy to pick up strategy and Civilization-type game where you need to manage, equip and train an expanding group of survivors of a zombie outbreak, scavenge for supplies, and maintain and expand control of the city.
- BattlePaint: addictive space shooter where you shoot increasing waves of paint and their "blood" when you kill them creates abstract art on the battle field.