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Based on the “Nature” public television series, this program offers kids a chance to visit and explore the African Serengeti Plain. The scene is set by a letter to field scientist Dr. Elgin Carp from “Nature” series host and executive editor George Page. In his letter, George expresses his delight at having an opportunity to work with Dr. Page on the upcoming “Nature” video documentary. He advises Dr. Page that he will be sending his research assistant to help complete the necessary fieldwork on animal behavior. He will also be sending a special video recorder to document the results of their exploration.
Fortified with wishes of ‘safari njema’ (have a good safari), the user is set loose to explore. Unfortunately, the good Dr. Carp has been delayed elsewhere, so it quickly becomes a solo expedition. Thankfully, research tools abound. A Field Guide, filled with abundant information on animal species, behavior and habitats is available at all times. It is through this Field Guide that the user receives email messages relating to the safari and to the progress of the “Nature” video. A compass tool provides the user with easy access to the various locations of importance in the Serengeti Plain. Finally, the good Dr. Carp, although ominously absent, has thoughtfully planned out all the necessary research in his journal. By completing the six research studies outlined in this journal, the user will obtain all the video footage and investigation notes necessary to complete the “Nature” documentary.
When all six field studies are completed (i.e., the journal pages are filled), the film production is finished. User progress can be checked on the Nature Film Page in the back of the science journal.
The creators of this program added features to make navigation less awkward for the student. The compass tool includes a map that allows the user to better conceptualize his or her current location. It gives an overview of the site, marking past routes and revealing areas that have yet to be explored. Once a spot has been discovered and visited, returning to that location can be down with a click. This helps eliminate the frustration of blindly traveling in circles that can occur in programs of this type.
Also beneficial is the “Help” portion of the program which can be accessed through the Field Guide tool. We recommend that users read through this before beginning a safari, and then take a second look if they are finding the program difficult to use.
PC: Windows 95/98, 133 MHz or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, 640x480 display capable of displaying thousands of colors, 6X or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card.return to top of page
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