Picture this: Evil polluters and ne’er do wells from neighboring lands are destroying their habitats – and yours is next. What’s an eco-warrior to do? Turn on the computer and kick some (online) butt! Check out the new green game for kids, Emerald Island.

Sure your mother said that video games were for slackers and pot heads, but all of us planted firmly in the 21st Century know better – they’re for really smart slackers and ambitious pot heads. And even if there aren’t any kiddos (or people as described above) in your house, Emerald Island can easily become your go-to time killer, like say, Tetris was for the ‘90s.

Here’s the situation. You (and your avatar) are living in paradise, growing your own food, keeping it green. When suddenly you are called upon to rally the locals of Emerald Island and lead them to victory over the dreaded Pirats, a “destructive band of rodents” who’ve been using the land like it’s their own private toilet.

There are subtle messages for the target audience – ages six to ten – and also real benefits to mother earth. Emerald Island is partnered with Trees for the Future, a tree-planting organization. So every time a subscriber signs up (one month $5.95, six months $29.95, twelve months $57.95) ten trees are planted in the real world. Sure you could skip the middle man and just donate to Trees for the Future – but then you don’t get to buy that virtual bicycle you’ll be needing for your virtual world saving. Phhpt on that.