The Grading Game is alot of fun and your going to like it. (we know our grammar’s horrible – read on to find out why!)
Few people can resist spewing a passionate opinion about the state of post-secondary education. On one hand, university students are suffering enormous debts and years-long workloads in order to procure degrees of negligible value. On the other hand, maybe it’s not the worst idea to keep kids chained to a desk until they learn the difference between “a lot” and “alot.” The Grading Game celebrates the wonderful and terrible (but mostly terrible) aspects of being a teaching assistant (TA) with a game that’s unique, fun, and educational. That’s right—it’s possible to learn and have fun at the same time. Pinky swear.
You play through The Grading Game as a poverty-stricken TA who stands a very real chance of being physically buried under a mountain of “PAST DUE” student loan payment notices. Your only hope is to keep grading and correcting for your curmudgeon of a Prof. If you fail enough students within a set time frame, said Prof will pay you (not well), and he might even throw some breadcrumbs into the deal.
The Grading Game features a huge spread of poorly-written student papers. Your job is to pick through each one and tap on each error with your trusty pen Ol’ Red. Thing is, you have a very limited amount of time to comb through the essays. If you don’t spot enough errors to drop the student’s grade to a C- or below, your Prof will be unable to get off to his students’ failure, and that makes him very grouchy.
Each essay has three parts, and the nature of your error hunt varies from part to part. Sometimes a paper is littered with typos and wretched grammar, and sometimes you need to find a single error in a paragraph that’s otherwise fine. If you manage to give the first part of an essay an “F”, but only manage a “C” on the second part, you need to start marking the essay over again from the first page. This repetition admittedly makes playing through the game feel tedious at times, but you can hop back and forth through scores of unlocked papers as soon as you start playing, which is nice: If you get tired of reading about Korea’s “fan death” superstition, you can simply move on.
However, repetition helps you spot common mistakes in The Grading Game—and who knows? You may learn stuff!
It would still be nice if The Grading Game let you control its difficulty by letting you adjust time limits to your liking. Then again, you’re lucky when your Prof lets you eat; he’d never grant you a gift as precious as time. There are a couple of other gameplay issues that could use fine-tuning, however: Those of us who grew up with Her Majesty’s English have to purge “colour” and “honour” from our systems, because that noble “U” counts as a typo.
Regardless, if you’re a fan of word and grammar games you’ll enjoy suffering with The Grading Game. But if you are or ever were a TA, you might want to gird your soul before playing. This one hits a little close to home.