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Shanghai Offers PC Games and Cartoons to Students

The Shanghai government has chosen three domestically produced computer games and cartoons for use in elementary schools, the Shanghai Education Commission announced on Wednesday.

The selected products, including a three-dimensional car-racing computer game, a cartoon about firefighters and an animation series about a little inventor, won a public bid after beating the others of the 98 participating games and cartoons from 28 producers.

Last september, the commission announced that it would allocate 1 million yuan (US$120,482) to purchase healthy computer games, which would be used in 1,500 local elementary schools to enrich students' extracurricular lives.

"All three of the winning products harmoniously fuse creativity, recreation and education features, which both cater to children's tastes and live up to our education purposes," said Weng Tiehui, vice director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Education Commission.

In a computer game entitled Spanning the Rainbows, players act as a cart racers to go through the city's major scenic spots -- such as the Bund, Xintiandi, Yuyuan Garden, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

All the sites will be arranged along eight racing tracks with narrators' detailed introduction about their history and what changes they have undergone.

The firefighting cartoon story shows the growing up process of an animated fireman, especially his bravery in saving others and his self-rescue skills.

Meanwhile, the 52-episode cartoon series tells the story of a little girl endowed with endless ideas for new inventions. Her smart inventions surprise and create trouble for people around her.

The commission will purchase the rights to the three selected products and allow local elementary schools students to play and watch them during lunch time starting next spring semester.

"But three products are far from enough to satisfy local students' needs," Weng said.

(Shanghai Daily January 13, 2005)


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