Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

My City

Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

My City

Article excerpt

Company: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited and I Choose Me Productions,120 Albany Ave., Toronto, MSR 3C4, Canada; U.S. orders: 800/3347344; Canada orders: 800/546-5758; Fax orders: 416/925-5903; mycity@; http://www.unicef-kids. org/mycity/.

Price: $30.00-Single CD, hybrid Macintosh/Windows; Lab packs available.

ISBN: 0-07-552830-4

Audience: Ages 9-14

Format: CD-ROM with graphics, sound, and animation.

System Requirements: Macintosh version requires a Macintosh LC III or later (25 MHz 68030 processor), System 7.1.2 or higher, 8 MB RAM with at least 5.5 MB available, monitor set at 256 colors with a resolution of at least 640 x 480 and 2x CD-ROM drive. The program will work better with a faster processor and more RAM. Windows version requires at least 80486/ 66 MHz with a 256-color (8-bit) monitor, 2x CD-ROM drive, and Windowscompatible sound card and mouse. Reviewer Comments:

Installation: I used My City on a Macintosh LC580, a newer Compaq with Windows 95, and a Macintosh Power PC. I had no problems installing or using this program, especially on the Macintoshes, which allowed me to insert the CD-ROM disk in the drive and click and play if Quicktime 2.5 and Sound Manager 3.1 were already installed. If not previously installed, both are supplied on the CD-ROM. Installation on Windows machines was a little more awkward, as an "Installation Wizard" wasn't activated by the program and had to be installed from the Program File Manager. Installing QuickTime for Windows, when not already present, was a secondary step that didn't become obvious until the program didn't work after the initial installation. Installation Rating: B+

Content/Features: Players of this interactive, animated, simulation game become the mayor of a city. They are given problems to solve, and their success is determined by how well they solve these problems. Among the measurements of success are the mayor's popularity rating, the number of gold bars he/she has, and the number of people who volunteer for his/her projects. Popularity and resources can fall low enough to end the game, but if the mayor successfully solves six problems, he/she is given a bronze, silver, or gold key, depending on the degree of success.

The mayor finds problems, called scenarios, to solve by clicking on various places in town or by consulting a panel of experts. Once the mayor has heard about a problem, he/she may decline to deal with it at that time, although doing so may have an adverse effect on his/her success.

The mayor can learn more about a problem by going to the town library and reading illustrated articles on the subject. The panel of experts can report to the mayor on their roles in the cities, giving their ideas and a link to relevant library articles, definitions, and the city's Web site, which posts information about youth issues and relevant articles. After every scenario animation, four Youth Council members appear, each recommending a solution for the mayor to choose.

The mayor's solutions will cost some gold bars or volunteers or both. However, the mayor may gather more gold bars and volunteers and improve his/her popularity through publicity. The mayor can "publish" and create parts of a newspaper, flyer, letter, magazine, or an Internet site. …

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