We grew up in the era of the Oregon Trail video game on the Apple IIC (for nostalgia purposes, you can play the original version online here and it's just as awesome as we remember it!). Since then, video games have indeed become considerably better graphically. Unfortunately they can also represent the worst of our society: violence, crime, profanity, and frankly laziness. Nothing against Grand Theft Auto, but I don't think any parents are arguing that this video game makes us better people.
Enter "Walden: A Game." Although we highly advise an in person visit to Walden, for those who cannot get there, there is now a video game that we can wholeheartedly endorse. While we can't comment on the level of fun relative to GTA until we have the opportunity to play it, it's a serious departure from most video games, and it's a wonderful way for children to explore Emerson and Thoreau's writings and the wonder of the woods just around the corner from us.
Learn more about the game and watch a preview from the NYTimes.