Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2013 Website
Ages: 8 - 14 yrs.
Designer: Tami Wicinas
Developer: Ryan McNulty
Director: Leigh Hallisey
Producer: Kate Cotter
Publisher: Fablevision

Quandary is a free online role-playing game for tweens and early teenagers, which is designed as a fun tool for promoting critical thinking and ethical decision-making. The game, presented in a comic book format, asks players to solve the ethical dilemmas that arise on an imaginary human colony on the planet Braxos. The player, represented by the captain of this colony, must consider how specific situations affect their community as a whole, while considering the perspectives of each character from the community, too. In one scenario, colonists complain that one of the planet's native predator species has been killing sheep. Using this information, the player must determine whether it is right to exterminate local wildlife, or if there is a better solution. The player earns points along the way for making good decisions. The game also gives the player feedback regarding their decisions. Thus, if a child makes a poor choice, they will get feedback from a character on why that choice was not helpful.

Parents enjoyed sharing this game with their children and found that it appealed well to its target audience of 8 to 14 year olds. Our players particularly liked the comic book format and the immediate feedback regarding their decisions. Quandary is a positive gaming experience for families, one that children will return to play on their own.

Karena Rush, Ph. D.   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Karena Rush is a professor in the Psychology Department at Millersville University. Karena has two young daughters and spends most of her free time outdoors with her family and old English sheepdog.

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