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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Did you know that "hurricane" and "tobacco" are words from the Arawak Indians, or that the Virgin Islands was once a colony with Anguilla, Nevis and St. Kitts? Is the flamingo a national bird of a Caribbean island group, or just a Florida lawn ornament?
You would know these facts and hundreds of others if you had been playing "Bambooshay!," the new computer Caribbean trivia game. "Bambooshay!" or "enjoy yourself," is the second in a series of games geared toward Caribbean and Virgin Islands history sponsored by AT&T Corp. as an educational tool for local students.
Surprisingly, there is no comprehensive text on Virgin Islands history, said Terri Brown, of MockLeBlancBrown Creative Services, who along with partner Beth LeBlanc created the games. "Winthrop Maduro of AT&T asked us to come up with something educational that would be fun and hold the students' interest," Brown said.
Seeing the lamentable lack of local history, the two set about the arduous task of assembling all the facts. They consulted Malik Stewart, J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary School librarian, and did a voluminous amount of reading.
"Anything we could find," Brown said, "from encyclopedias to Caribbean history and guide books like Frommer's, to different islands' tourist material—we checked out everything."
And they were careful to avoid anything political or controversial. The aim was to instruct and make it fun for kids (and adults) to find out about their heritage.
The game is made up of Caribbean history, geography, foods and other stuff, with lots of fun trivia and "pistarcle" questions. AT& T has worked with the Virgin Islands Department of Education to create the game, and has the department's endorsement. The games are available in the territory's public schools.
Both Brown and Maduro said CD's are the best way to teach something like this, making a game of it. "Kids are into computers and games, so this is a natural way to approach them," Maduro said. Maduro said AT&T has put the games in all the housing projects, most recently Paul M. Pearson Gardens, in the recreation rooms where the neighborhood kids can use them.
AT&T gives one dollar from each to sale to different charities, and is considering developing a college scholarship fund from Christmas sales this year. "We've sent the games out to our worldwide offices," he said, "and the response has been incredible." He said the Latin American offices were especially enthusiastic and were playing the game themselves. It is geared for ages about 12 or 13 up through adults.
The previous game, "Discovery Isles," concentrated on the Virgin Islands, and its success spurred "Bambooshay!," with its larger, Caribbean scope.
The game is very fast-paced, and can be played with one or two players. There's four games to choose from: "Pick-A-Peppa," multiple choice; "Mele Match-Up," geography; "Jumbie Jumble," fill in the blanks; and "What a Pistarcle!," true or false. The CD can be played on Macintosh or PC, and is available on island at several stores for about $24.95.
To find where the games are sold, or to get one for a school, call 774-8478.

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