Memorizing the World

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, during a time of DOS and Wordstar and humongous floppies (A and B drives) and green-type-on-black-monitors — oh, wait, am I actually showing my “years of experience” here? Ack! Must. Not. Divulge.


Some time ago, I could enumerate to you U.S. states, capitals, staples, plants, animals, colors, mottos, whatever! My coming-of-age summers were spent – aside from washing my father’s oft-muddy car daily for ten pesos – with my hands on the keyboard, eyes glued to my very first computer and a U.S. factbook on my lap just in case I needed information on the run.

Time was of the essence.

I was, after all, a super-intelligent detective for the U.S. government and I was chasing a high-profile criminal all over the States!

Where in the USA … is – Car – men – San – di – ego ?!

Oh, was I hooked. I couldn’t tell you what cayenne looked like. But I could tell you that Americans had both cayenne pepper and cayenne-colored hair. Carmen taught me that, among other things. That led me to, later on, find out what cayenne meant. And I learned that some people had red and yellow hair. How bizarre, I thought. I’m glad my hair is black. Colorful hair must look real funny.

(That was before cable television and MTV. Then I wanted colored hair, too. Shh, don’t tell.)

I really miss Carmen Sandiego sometimes. I hear she’s gone international now (and TV too!). And I haven’t played her in so long (because, I hear, her rates have skyrocketed, too) that I’ve forgotten so much. Is Alaska a state or a country? I no longer know. Maybe both.

But yesterday I was surfing and I stumbled upon this great little game. It’s nothing compared to Carmen – not as visual, for one – but it’s still fun. And just like Carmen, it helps, geography-wise. It’s just a little quizzing toy. You choose a category like World Flags and it displays several flags and asks you to click on the flag of a certain country. Or a category like Asian Cities and it displays the world map and asks you to find the location of a certain city.

Here’s what the publisher says:

Seterra is a challenging geography program with 70 different exercises. Learn about countries, capitals, flags and cities all over the world! Examples of exercises: countries in Europe; American states; American state capitals; French cities; cities in Mexico; countries in Asia.” – Publisher Information

I’m not a geography buff (that has always been Gim’s department: he could tell you the difference between Kilimanjaro and Fiji, I’d tell you they’re both in ) – but this little app is so fun I’ve actually posted a world map up on my cubicle wall just to cheat! Er, I mean, refer to it when in doubt.

(I’m not being paid to say this, but if someone wants to give me cash, go right ahead.)

I’m so hooked! So long, Flo and Diner Dash 2. I’m going better and brighter. :-)