01/09/2008 01:26 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

This Videogame Makes You Smarter and Helps the Hungry: The FreeRice Phenomenon

When I was in college, I made a resolution to drop videogames from my life. Too many afternoons had been swallowed by Super Mario Bros. and Tetris. I've done alright at staying away, although playing Nintendo's Wii bowling game at a party last year was pretty amazing.

But there's a new game that has me hooked back in: FreeRice.

On, an insanely simple and user-friendly website, you take a multiple choice word definition quiz for as long as you like. The system adapts to your vocabulary level and tests you on difficult words, so it works for anyone from kids to professors. For every word you get correct, 20 grains of rice are donated to a developing country. Advertisers on the site pay for the rice. You get smarter and do a free good deed from the comfort of your computer chair! And you'll impress your pals when you drop "abjure" or "loquacity" in conversation.

I'm hardly the first one to get excited about FreeRice; they've donated over 13 billion grains of rice since their inception in October 2007.

Check it out here: FreeRice

Dan Brown is a teacher in New York City and the author of The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle.