“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Monday, May 16, 2011

Become Ruler of Your Own Private Ocean Realm

One of my favorite apps for my iPhone is an app called Fantastic Fish. It’s an app that appeals to a wide age range from my elementary –aged children to adults. It allows you to build oceans and populate them with fish. It’s on the Plus+ network, so you can join up with friends to view their oceans and breed fish. As a teacher, there are several things that I like about this app. It inspires creativity as individuals create their own little oceans. On the surface, you’d think it would be somewhat limited, but I am amazed at how different everyone’s oceans look given the few items there are to work with in the palette of backdrops, floorings, decorations, and fish. Add to that the ability to name fish anything you wish and you end up with quite a wide range of creative oceans from fairly realistic seas to completely fantastical ones.

My oceans are fairly realistic because I am a diver and am inspired by the real deal, but the names of my fish are mostly names of authors or literary characters reflecting my gamer name, mrslibrarian. I also like the way that the app introduces various marine life like sharks, rays, clownfish, sea otters, manatees, sea horses, and lion fish – even if many of them are fantastical in the colors they morph into when bred with friends’ fish. Like many other apps, there is an element of business acumen to be learned from playing with Fantastic Fish as well. If you buy and sell fish well, you’ll be successful and build up prosperous oceans quickly.

One final thing that I am finding very interesting is the social behavior that follows as your oceans grow and become more prosperous. I’m finding that I’ve gained more and more followers and am able to breed more fish. Each week I continue to gain popularity. I looked at the leaderboards and added two or three of the top names to my friends list to see if the social behavior followed for them as well and indeed, their oceans are packed with followers seeking to breed with their fish. So if you like fish and want to have some fun playing Neptune, check out Fantastic Fish. It’s good clean fun that you can enjoy with your friends, your children, and your children's friends at the same time!


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