This wacky mystery is the brainchild of WGBH Interactive, the team responsible for designing the award-winning sites for PBS Kids’ “ZOOM,” “Between the Lions,” and “Arthur.”
Fffbi.com is the homepage for the Fin, Fur and Feather Bureau of Investigation (“The FFFBI”), a crack team of animal investigators who are trying to stop the bad guys of the world. One particularly notorious group, the Confederacy of Rascals and Unspeakably Suspicious Troublemakers (C.R.U.S.T.), is trying to take over the planet of Mars.
Kids click the “Missions” button and select “Operation G.A.S.-Chicken” to join the game. After a briefing about the case from Deputy Directory Napoleon (a King Penguin who desires to become an “Emperor”), children go “on assignment” by following the links presented in memos from Napoleon. For example, the first assignment is to figure out who the C.R.U.S.T. is trying to hire in hopes of shedding light on their nefarious plan. Kids surf to the fictitious C.R.U.S.T. website (another creation of WGBH Interactive) where they will find “Classifieds”. By using the first word of the odd-numbered listings (a separate clue given to the cyber-investigators), sleuths will discover that the C.R.U.S.T. is trying to hire chicken farmers and genetic scientists—sounds like they are “hatching” an evil scheme!
The mystery takes children through 50 ad-free webpages, and kid-testers report that it is “hilarious” to play. Appropriate for children ages 8-12, this mystery encourages children to read, write, think critically, and use research skills. The FFFIB will be introducing an additional mystery in the fall.
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