It's a game where you can practice your vocabulary skills and learn the meaning of nifty words like mackinaw, trundle, hireling, chiromancy, and the ever exciting omphaloskepsis. What's more, apparently for each word they donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program(me). It made me wonder if they have rice to give away, why not just donate it to some hungry people? Here's what they have to say on the issue (from the FAQ page).
FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, sponsor banners appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.
Now 20 grains of rice is not that much. I eat a lot more than that a day. In fact, 100 grains of rice isn't that much either. So, I think (or should I say ratiocinate) if I was playing the game just for charity, it wouldn't really be worth my while. Yet, by playing the game for just a short time, I've learnt several new words that I wouldn't have come across in my daily activities.
Overall, there is some advantage to this game. I have the opportunity to increase my vocabulary skills and do a (very) small bit to help hungry people somewhere in the world. A few minutes of this game each morning and my mind will be awash with new and exciting words.
mackinaw = wool coat
trundle = roll
hireling = mercenary
chiromancy = palm-reading
omphaloskepsis = navel-contemplation (I'm really tempted to re-name my blog this)