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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Friday Free Game: Free Rice

This week's Friday Free Game is called Free Rice, brought to my attention by Corvus Elrod. I want everyone reading this blog (that's right... both of you!) to go play this game. It's really nothing more than a vocabulary test. Select one of the four definitions that most closely matches the meaning of the word presented to you.

What makes this fun? Because of one silly number at the bottom of the screen that is called "VOCAB LEVEL". As you answer questions correctly, your vocabulary level goes up. When you get them wrong, it goes down. So you want to keep those streaks alive to make that score go as high as possible. Simple but challenging, it kept me busy for a while when I should have been coding.

But this game is neither particularly inventive, nor particularly challenging, nor particularly well-present... so why would your discriminating host choose this game to highlight? Well... there are a few reasons. First: in keeping with my newfound embrace of the trivia game, this game fits right in (and sadly, that post on why I don't like trivia games is still forthcoming). Second, it's good for you, because it will help you exercise that muscle between your ears by teaching you some new vocabulary (some of those words are obscure!).

But the real reason that I want everyone to play this game is that it's trying to make a difference: for every word you get right, FreeRice donates 20 grains of rice to end world hunger. How does it do this? From their FAQ:

FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice?you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.
So far, in just two months, nearly seven million grains of rice have been donated (and you can keep tabs on the running total here). It's so rare for a game to offer something more than just fun, and I'd like to think that the Red Bull Diary can be a part of it. My personal best was a 47 vocabulary level as I donated over 1,000 grains of rice.

Check it out. And donate by playing.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.