Love 1 Love
Tagsearly elementary, preschooler, tween, video games
If you’ve never played the Wing Commander games, you’ve missed out on an iconic and influential franchise from the 90s. Even if you have, chances are your kids haven’t even heard of it, which is a shame, as it was a pioneer in common concepts like full motion video cutscenes. Wing Commander III has even been called one of the first “interactive movies,” as it featured hours of live-action video boasting a cast that includes the talented Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rys-Davies, Tom Wilson, and Josh Lucas.
Unfortunately, as the games themselves were programmed for a wide range of different platforms spanning everything from the Super Nintendo to the Playstation to the PC, it may be difficult to track all of them down reliably. Several of the titles have been re-released through various platforms such as Xbox Live Arcade and EA Replay, but there doesn’t seem to be any consolidated anthology of the games.
While you’re piecing those together for a nostalgic and educative gaming adventure for your kids, get them primed with Wing Commander Academy. All 13 episodes of this 2006 animated series are now available in one set. Wing Commander Academy follows Maverick, voiced by Mark Hamill, as he attends Wing Commander Academy prior to the events of the first game in the series. During their training, Maverick and his classmates are frequently put through trial by fire as they have to engage humanity’s arch enemy, the Kilrathi, in deadly space combat. This animated series also features the voices of Malcolm McDowell and Tom Wilson, who bring their considerable talents to the fore.
If you’re looking to further your kids’ education in the broad history of computer games, this series is a must.