Guest Author - Jace Shoemaker-Galloway
The Internet is a valuable resource that provides many services, educational opportunities, and hours of entertainment no matter where one lives.
Sadly, hunger continues to plague our world. According to the United Nations, more than 25,000 people die every day due to hunger, malnutrition and hunger related issues. Tragically, the majority of those deaths are children under five years of age.
Several years ago, a self-employed computer programmer from Indiana, John Breen, created several charitable websites including The Poverty Site, The Rainforest Site and The Hunger Site. The Hunger Site has more than 200,000 visitors to the site, every day. In 2007, Breen launched his newest project, Free Rice. The no-cost Internet game educates and entertains players, and also encourages giving in the simplest of ways.
To play the challenging game, users are shown a vocabulary word. Players must select the correct definition from four multiple choice possibilities. If the correct definition is chosen, 20 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). If five correct words are selected in a row, 100 grains of rice will be donated to the cause. The game is not only incredibly simple to play, it is seriously addictive.
Thousands of words are included in the Free Rice vocabulary database with new words being added. Vocabulary words automatically adjust to the correct difficulty level for each player and more than 50 different levels are included. When three answers in a row are correct, the user proceeds to the next level. If the wrong answer is selected, the level is automatically reduced. For those who require additional assistance, click the speaker symbol next to the word and the word will be read aloud.
Players do not actually donate money. Playing is totally free. The donated rice is paid for by advertisements from sponsors listed on the Free Rice website. All of the revenue from the Free Rice game is donated to The United Nations World Food Program, who then distributes the donated rice.
While a single grain of rice may not sound like much, consider this; 830 grains of rice were donated on the first day the game was launched in 2007. Today, over 26,000,000,000 grains of rice have been donated and more than 500,000 people visit the website daily.
Whether playing alone or as a class project, Free Rice is a popular word game that is fun and educational and helps nourish impoverished and malnourished people around the globe, one grain of rice at a time.