After a quiet but devious acquisition by Electronic Arts, CoolMath.com has fallen from their pedestal of internet purity.
It’s 2005. You’re in the 4th grade and just about to start computer class. The teacher, having already made you take “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing” and taught you how to use Microsoft Word and Excel, has exhausted her knowledge of computers, so she tells you to play educational games on the Internet. The whole class cheers as everyone simultaneously hops onto CoolMath.com to play some “Space Invaders” rip-off.
Many of you have probably had experiences similar to the one described above. The Internet was a simpler, more wholesome place back then. MySpace was the social medium of choice, “RuneScape” was actually fun, and nobody was racist or sexist at all … right?
This Web 2.0 wonderland wasn’t meant to last though. As with all great things, we humans must ruin it. Today, we are so use to a ruined Internet that we barely bat an eye when Facebook sells our information to Cambridge University or whoever it was.
Throughout this downfall, a few good websites fought against the tides of crap. One of these majestic websites was CoolMath.com, a site dedicated into tricking kids into learning math by offering free online games.
A sad day is upon us, however, as CoolMath.com, the last bastion of Internet purity and innocence, has fallen into the tide of horrible websites.
It all started after a quiet but important acquisition of CoolMath.com by the games company Electronic Arts (EA). At first, no one was worried, as EA has a fantastic reputation for not ruining games.
Then users of CoolMath.com started to notice some minor, frightening changes.
First, some of the more popular games on the website saw a 1,000 percent increase in ads.
Next, microtransactions started to pop up all over the site.
Want to learn algebra: that will be $3.99 per lesson.
Want to play a game: $0.99 per play.
This model of microtransactions has been criticized by some consumers as being greedy and anti-consumer.
Moreover, CoolMath.com has started implementing long and confusing user agreements that flash on the screen every time you log onto the website. The entire agreement is, like, 100,000 words, and the text box is, like, four lines tall, meaning to actually read the entire document, a user would have to scroll down for,, like,, 10 minutes. Basically, the site just wants you to agree to the document without actually reading it.
A portion of the agreement is as follows:
“Any and all users of this website agree to have any information collected by the site sold to foreign governments, including but not limited to: People’s Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
“All users of CoolMath.com are losers, haha.”
Now that CoolMath.com has turned to the dark side, it appears there is no hope left for the Internet. Not a single wholesome site remains. This reporter personally think that it’s time to give up on this whole “Internet” thing and go back to the good ol’ days when kids use to play with rocks and sticks and hoops or whatever, instead of playing apparently “educational” games on the computer during class.