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Image © Purple Moon. Used with permission.

Rockett screen shot

Looking through Lockers

E, S1, S2, and J are 12-14 years old and playing Rockett for the first time. Although they were not too keen to try the game (reading the box aloud sarcastically and saying such things as "I'd rather barf," and "I won't play it, because if there's a doll in the box I won't play it."), they decide to give it a shot. When this dialogue starts, they have been playing the game for over an hour already. This section represents just over 5 minutes of play. As the clip starts the 4 girls are huddled around the computer, looking through someone's locker. They are laughing and squealing. E. hops on her chair and claps.

This episode is charactertized by a lot of sarcasm, but also by some investment -- in the story, the characters (J is making a list of their names and important facts about them discovered through locker searches), the decision-making, and the snooping in people's lockers. They also seem engaged with the opportunity to experiment with the outcomes of different decisions -- if only for amusement's sake at times -- which would seem to be the only somewhat limited educational content of this game.


    --S1: It stinks that they only let you do one [locker] at a time.
    --E: Cooool!
    --J: Sharla -- oh she's weird looking.
    --S2: They talk and you always go right over it! [When a player clicks on a locker, the person whose locker it is says something. If a player clicks the mouse, it interrupts/ends the speech. This keeps happening.]
    --All: (laughter--they imitate the game) gusty! whistling pines! gusty!
    --J: Ooh, what was that? Incense sticks!
    --E: 8th grade, finally. Does that tell us anything or what?
    --S2: Jerks... I don't want to do it anymore.
    --S1: Now we can't get to... we have to do Stephanie, or Jessie.
    --J/S2/E: Wolf! (They close Wolf's locker and open it again.)
    --J: Oh that's why she likes him! ... Cool. (S1: Should've let him talk.) Didn't even hear him start.
    --The game makes an eerie 'musical' noise. E: Ok we get it, Native American.
    --J: Let's write down these names.
    --E: I like peeking in people's lockers.
    --S1: It's so weird.
    --J: I know...
    --E: I like what we found out about Nicole.
    --S2: Wait, we have to hear her voice.
    --J: Yeah... Here, Stephanie. Let's go into Stephanie.
    --S1: Let her talk. (The character Stephanie speaks as they open her locker and she insults Rockett.)
    --E: What a...
    --J: Her last name is Hollis, right? h-o-l-l-i-s.
    --J: (reading)Assignment book, Super Secret. ... My really strict parents... (writes this by Nicole's name)
    --S1: Likes animals and guys.

Image © Purple Moon. Used with permission.

Rockett screen shot

Where to Sit

Later in the play session they are back to the story part of the game. They must make a choice about where to sit in the cafeteria.

    Choice: Which seat?
    --S1: She's really ugly.
    --J: How did we get to sit with Reuben?
    --S1: It says... (They listen to the choices again.)
    --J: There's Reuben.
    --E: Why?
    --S2: Because he's nice.
    --J: Oh and he's so gorgeous (sarcastic). [They know that if they choose to sit with Reuben, part of the conversation will include this quote, since they've done it once already.]
    --E: Can't we just see what happens, if she chooses, because we can just go back.
    Choice: They choose to sit with the popular crowd instead of with Reuben.
    --J: This is gonna be SO funny. (The game characters are talking.)
    --S1: Go back.
    --E: They're pathetic.
    --J: No all the way back...

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