Wordplay (BBC Soft) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By BBCSoft/BBC Publications

Published in The Micro User 4.03

Educating icons

Wordplay is an original and innovative idea, attempting to introduce the complex ideas of word processing to young children through the use of animated icons.

These animal icons, rejoicing in delightful names like Selina Seagull and Petronius Pelican, show the child in an amusing and educationally valid manner the various options available in a word processing program.

The icons are permanently displayed at the bottom of the screen below the text window which can display at any time nine of the 33 lines of text possible in the file.

However there are a couple of areas where I feel the program is less than user-friendly and where children may be easily confused.

My chief criticism is reserved for the left and right justification, made by Eve the Elephant and Boris Bear.

Boris tidies by pushing the left margin, but only from column two or greater, and leaves a ragged right result.

The elephant, however, then right justifies back to the first column by tugging, often leaving very large gaps in the text, large enough for words to be included from the line below.

I am not convinced that children will really appreciate how useful word processing can be from this program, although the excellent booklet will prove an effective tutor.

Phil Tayler