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 Slime Rancher  fan letter highlights how games can be a force for good

Slime Rancher fan letter highlights how games can be a force for good

October 20, 2016 | By Alex Wawro




"We have used Slime Rancher for math, reading, writing, problem solving and more. So as a mom to see my child interested in learning because of your game I want to say thank you."

- Fan letter received and shared by indie dev Monomi Park.

Games (and the design principles that drive them) have long been repurposed for use in education. Some are built explicitly for that (like The Oregon Trail or Math Blaster) while others, like MinecraftEdu, are variants of established games retooled for classroom use.

Thus, it's common for devs to think of their work as being either "for teaching" or "for fun." But it's good to be reminded that games built explicitly to entertain can still have significant positive impact on a player's life. 

Slime Rancher co-creator Nick Popovich did just that yesterday by sharing a snippet of a nice fan letter received from a mother who says a love for Slime Rancher has inspired her severely dyslexic son to develop his writing and problem-solving skills.

"To most moms maybe Slime Rancher would just be another video game filled with cute little slimes and something for their child to do to fill the time," she wrote. "However, to our family it's a little more."

She went on to briefly highlight how her son was ("for the first time ever") excited to write a letter to the developers of the game he loves, even though, as she says, it required him to spend a significant number of hours preparing what he wanted to say, writing it, erasing it, and rewriting it again. 

"The letter that may not look like much to someone who doesn't know him, is his first real effort to write, try and succeed and not be embarrassed by the outcome," she wrote. "As a mom to see my child interested in learning because of your game I want to say thank you."

It's a nice reminder of the positive impact a game (or any creative work, really) can have on the life of someone who loves it -- even a game where the primary currency is essentially slime poop. 

(Incidentally, you can read more about the design of the slime poop -- sorry, "plort" -- system and Slime Rancher in general in this Gamasutra interview with Popovich.)



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