O-NEG 16: Frog Fractions
It doesn’t seem like a very entertaining game at first – but you’ll be surprised at just how intuitive, educational, and informative it can be – not only for your child, but also for you, regardless of your mathematical capability! I know that I learned a lot from this game.
The game begins without instructions. You control a frog which uses its prodigious tongue to ensnare and swallow thieving bugs. The bugs will stop at nothing to get a nibble of your delicious fruits.
However, there’s a twist. Each bug represents a different fraction, and you must not only add fractions together, but also reduce the numerator and denominator to their lowest terms. Think that’s easy? Think again. It took me almost five minutes before I was able to consistently reduce fractions into their lowest terms. Sometimes, that lowest term is 15. Other times, that lowest term is 2520.
But the learning doesn’t stop there. Spoilers follow. Please play the game first; I assure that you will be entertained.
Within your academic adventures and trials, you can equip your frog with upgrades such as static electricity, automatic targeting, and increased computational prowess. I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the cybernetic brain. It changes the fraction form to an imprecise scientific notation, taking away the chance for you and your child to exercise your brain. Once everything becomes decimal, Frog Fractions loses its character: after all, how can you play Frog Fractions without fractions?
Nevertheless, some upgrades require a disproportionate amount of fruit, such as the 25,000 fruit Warp Drive. Thus, you must ‘think outside the level’s frame’ and acquire fruit in another way. Frog Fractions is already ahead of its narrow-minded competition which never encourage creativity of any sort.
In our technologically-oriented society, electronically communicating is an extremely important skill that we must teach our children at an early age. Thankfully, Frog Fractions even includes a typing game. Not only do you type in a scientifically-proven superior typing system (Dvorak), but you must simultaneously add and reduce fractions.
This creates many more neuron pathways between the right and left sides of the brain. If our children regularly play Frog Fractions and similar games from an early age, they will become mental prodigies by the time they reach kindergarten.
Frog Fraction also includes a certain element of physical education. The frog must dodge space bugs, space bugs’ space bullets, and space asteriods. Furthermore, it must also aim, shoot, add/reduce fractions, and collect space fruit. This mental stimulation reinforces connections between the cerebellum and our nerve endings, resulting in greater tactile sensitivity and dexterity in reactions.
Frog Fractions gradually changes focus from adding fractions to typing/fingerwork and now to English literacy. Illiteracy is a major problem in all of North America, and early childhood reading is one of the sure-fire ways to improve student literacy.
Not only does Frog Fractions present its writings in an affable and modern style, but it also explores deeper political issues. The frog’s association of the bugs’ society to communism betrays a widespread aura of racism in the modern frog culture, as Bug Mars operates much more freely (a free-for-all fruit-stealing frenzy) than any Terran ideology.
Racism soon pervades Frog Fractions. Frequent allusions to racism are made throughout the game, such as when Pirate Pacman Ghost “think[s] [the bugs] might be racist”. These also challenge conventional beliefs on war, and do well to prepare our children to face a globalized twenty-first century, where discrimination must never be tolerated.
By now, fractions have all but disappeared from Frog Fractions. Yet, few will notice this shift, so smooth has been its transitions. Every chapter brings us into another field, always closely related to the previous. As the frog swims under the Bug Martian sea for twenty minutes trying to get out (an important lesson on perseverance), a genial and urbane voice-over describes the history and political consequences of André Felipe Felipe’s revolutionary ‘punching-style’ of boxing.
Similar, but more ambiguous imagery lies off to the side of the sea. Prominent pedagogical psychologists have analyzed its similarity to the stereotypical ‘football dad’, and concluded that the image represents the ‘deepness’ of human identity merely being a cloak to hide our inherent shallow desires. Several Arkansas schoolteachers disagree, and point out that water is inherently a meaningless blank slate.
These images of profound depth and meaning will surely be hotly debated into the far future. Indeed, as our children grow and mature into adults, they will fondly reflect on their time spent playing Frog Fractions and the true, individual meaning each of them gain from these images.
These exercises in the abstract cannot outweigh the instructional value of concrete goals and interpretations. Children will develop their left hemisphere and cultivate valuable visualization skills while guiding the frog in planning his return to Bug Mars. Furthermore, they will acquire an appreciation for ‘old-school’ text-based games such as Zork, Rogue, and Kingdom of Loathing.
Racism and discrimination return in the final chapters of the game. The developer obviously feels a deep disdain for humankind, and places frogs on a pedestal by lampooning humans’ physical deficiencies while completely ignoring our intellectual superiority.
Nevertheless, by placing bugs in irrational positions of power (for example, butterflies cannot sign legislation into law, nor administer citizenship examinations), the developer may be parodying pro-animal efforts such as PETA. The frog’s unrealistic presidential victory may also be a satire of global media and popular culture diluting our venerable political system – issues which will undoubtedly arise when our sons become men.
The final chapter focuses on investment strategies in the pornography industry. Society tends to become more liberal over time; indeed, social regulations on promiscuity have noticeably loosened within the past five hundred years. In the future, our children must also decide whether to support this booming industry or to oppose this flagrant degradation of human and female rights.
We’ve come a long way. At the end, Frog Fractions feels like an educational epic, covering fields from mathematics to grammar, psychology to financial literacy. If you’re like me, time will really fly – pun intended. I foresee that Frog Fractions will become a trailblazer for innumerable quality edutainment to come, an epitome of success, blending with the utmost precision learning, thinking, and having fun.
Ultimately, Frog Fractions is an epic. An epic of the American Dream. From literal bug-eater to extraterrestrial navigator to planetary diplomat to the Right Honourable President of Bug Mars – it’s been a journey, not just for the frog, but also for us.
Frog Fractions is the greatest educational game of all time.