Nintendo has put out quite a few educational games to make people think and teach them new skills, and I always wondered why anyone would want to learn on a platform that was developed for games. Michelle got to host a party to try out Art Academy on the Nintendo DSi XL. This game is designed to teach drawing and painting skills. After playing with the game for a few minutes, I was pretty impressed. While it’s not nearly as powerful of a platform as a computer, it does a really great job.
What I enjoy about this software too is that they try to mimic the actual process of painting. The software recommends you sketch out your drawing in pencil first, and it gives you choices on fine point or shading as well as the softness of the lead. When you get to painting you have choices of brushes, mixing colors, how much paint you want on the brush, and even whether you want to dilute the paint with water to make it more fluid. There is no undo button, because in real life you just have to paint over your mistakes. There also isn’t a limitless supply of paint either. After you make a few strokes, you have to pick up the stylus and put it down as if you were dipping the brush again.
This is what we were supposed to paint in the class.
These are the moldy looking oranges that I was able to paint.
Although from far away, it looks like everyone did a pretty decent job.
As far as how well it teaches you, the jury is still out on that. I haven’t had enough time to play with it thoroughly. I would definitely recommend buying one of these if you have a child and wanted them to explore their artistic side. There’s no mess to clean up in the game, and after the kids are done for the night you can play some Mario Kart.