Sunday, September 20, 2009

Played Free Rice Lately?

Help end world hunger Hmmm. Free Rice? Didn't I play that vocabulary game and like it? Seems like I did, but I forgot to bookmark it. You know what that means? Of course, you know what that means. I forgot about it. Plus, even though the game part was fun for my brain, I had nagging questions about how playing a word game on the internet could possibly translate into feeding a hungry person somewhere in the world.

If I had remembered to bookmark it, then I might have gotten around to reading the FAQ's on this page. The gist of the matter is your presence on the site is valuable to advertisers on the site. Why spend time trying to fill that bowl with rice? I have a few reasons of my own, and they are bouncing around my 1/2 spiritual, 1/2 skeptical smartass mind. Let me tilt my head forward a little bit more-- maybe some of them will jump onto the screen ;-)

Here ya go. Some reasons to remember to play Free Rice:
  • Vocabulary isn't the only subject now! Since the last time I had played, they've added grammar, foreign language vocabulary, multiplication facts, basic math, famous painting identification, chemistry, and geography.
  • It's fun to challenge yourself! Even if you have your doubts about how this could possibly work to feed people, the other goal of the site is to educate people. Did you learn a new word? Did you get a wee bit faster at spitting out multiplication facts? Did your kids look over your shoulder and learn something, too? Voila! Goal number two being served!
  • Donating this way isn't likely to cut into donating on other fronts. You can do this while you're surfing the 'net (which you're probably going to do anyway sometime during the day if you have the opportunity, right?). If your bill for internet service is going to be paid anyway, then playing this game doesn't take away spare change which you could use to buy a few cans of food to donate locally.
  • Much as I dislike it when people throw Snopes reports up in other peoples faces, I did break down and search yahoo with this question, "Is Free Rice legitimate?". Snopes says it is. The first page of the search didn't bring up much more than that and a pretty entertaining squabble on this site. In the end, I have to agree with those people who argue that you get something out of playing, whether or not you think the donations are making a difference.


Mermaid Glass said...

We have! The kids go on and play almost every day. My daughter's social studies teacher pushes the sight as a way to help get the kids more socially active. She has a bunch of little tricks like this that she uses on them.

I love your reasons list, too!

angelinabeadalina said...

Cool, Laurie :) That teacher is one smart cookie, for sure. You can't help but learn/practice a little something! I found it again because one of the local schools had it on their list of approved sites for free time in the computer lab. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the new subjects. Kate thinks the German language one is fun. She's really good at looking at the words and matching them to their meaning in English... it was fun to watch her doing that last night.

Keiara Wells said...

I love Free Rice! I thought it was a wonderfully innovative idea (although I simply assumed it MUST be legit, thanks for confirming). I haven't played in awhile so I haven't seen the new games.. but I'll be sure to check them out now. Thanks for the reminder ;) xox

rosebud101 said...

I had never heard of that site. I will be back to play again! Thanks, Ang!

bluesky said...

Another great charity site is It donates money to children in need through World Vision.

Check it out at