Fetch

Pets are not toys.

The ASPCA cares how we treat animals. Founded to protect working horses, it now focuses on pets. It has determined that the attitudes of responsible pet owners are formed in childhood. It developed a large kids’ website filled with features that give children specific guidance. To sweeten this mixture, the Society came to GamesThatWork. They wanted games that would be fun for kids and place pet ownership in a positive light.

Rather than focus on the practical chores of pet ownership – which are heavily represented on the website, Fetch seeks to develop a capacity for empathy and a subtle sense of responsibility. Fetch is game played by a child and a dog. Children quickly discover that the fun begins when they are sensitive to the pooch.

Players throw the ball for Buddy to chase. Modelled on Latke, the designer’s own dog, Buddy is extremely eager to please, but not terribly bright. He finds it hard to get started. Once moving, he finds it hard to slow down and almost impossible to reverse direction. He tends to overshoot the ball on his first try, and often when he comes back the ball has bounced away or rolled downhill. The terrain is challenging. Each level is tougher than the last, and each has a surprise bonus and a hidden hazard.

The game won several awards including Yahoo’s Site of the Day.