'90S EDUTAINMENT GAMES, RANKED BY HOW MUCH THEY EDUCATED ME PERSONALLY

  1. 6.
    Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
    While somewhat entertaining, I learned very little about world geography. And also, it wasn't even very entertaining since I'm so hopeless at geography I often didn't catch the criminal & certainly never came close to apprehending Carmen Sandiego.
  2. 5.
    Where in the USA Is Carmen Sandiego?
    This was slightly easier for me due to both subject matter & design. I still learned next to nothing about US geography I didn't already know, & I'd be hard-pressed to name even ten state capitals, let alone state nicknames, flowers, or birds. Also, I still never caught Sandiego, although I did get a few people in her inner circle.
  3. 4.
    Oregon Trail
    'Chimney Rock by moonlight is awfully sublime,' was my main takeaway (this is impossible to verify as today they light it at night artificially which is a TRAVESTY). Also that you can cure any illness - from dysentery to snake bites to broken bones - by simply resting 3-7 days; any item or person that falls into a river is immediately lost forever; & no party, no matter how large or small, can ever carry more than 200 lbs of game per hunting trip. Very little of this has turned out to be true.
  4. 3.
    EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus
    Playing as a kid, I leaned next to nothing beyond 'don't throw plastic bags in the ocean' & 'it'd be pretty cool to have a talking dolphin in a pool in my backyard', which were both things I already knew. When I revisited it in high school, however, I learned that every game is way easier if you find a walkthrough for it on the internet.
  5. 2.
    The Mysterious Island of Dr. Brain
    This game had it all & I assume I learned a ton! Okay, I'm pretty sure I mostly learned that if you click on enough things, you'll eventually stumble on the right answer, but that's still more than I ever learned from Carmen Sandiego.
  6. 1.
    Mavis Beacon
    The 'tainment' aspect of this program was negligible, but the advantage of being able to type properly is immeasurable. So much as it pains me to say it, thanks, Mom.