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[OS:N:]Children's Games

> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 22:02:36 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Michael <mogmios mlug missouri edu>
> To: "Drew M. Meeks" <drew redhat com>
> Cc: open-source-now-list redhat com
> Subject: Re: [OS:N:]Want To Get Involved
> Another suggestion is to take lists of the programs your children like the
> best and describe them in details. What kind of game is it? What makes it
> attractive to children? In what ways is it educational? Details of how the
> games work and stuff like that. As a programmer I can program most
> anything but I don't have kids and the only OS I run is Linux so I don't
> have much exposure to the current childrens games. We are working on a
> Trails/Adventure engine for Linux which I hope will let people create
> Oregon Trail type games. Other suggestions are welcome. :)


At my son's age (early elementary), it seems he likes EVERYTHING that
has to do with

1)  Taking things apart, and
2)  Putting things back together in a different form

Whether it's an old radio dismantled and re-built in a new way (will
this make a spaceship I can ride to the moon?), a cookie recipe measured
out in new quantities (wonder what this will taste like?), or building
new letter patterns to try to create new words (for which he always
comes up with the most interesting definitions), it seems his world is
all about exploring, defining and crossing  boundaries, discovering, and
enjoying the wonder of building something new out of something he finds
to be old.

Playing with Lincoln Logs or Legos, hiking around old car junkyards
(until the owners kick us out), going to garage sales to find
something/anything he can take apart and re-build through his own mind's
eye...all of these are games that I can play with him to feed his
growing sense of wonder and empowerment.  

When it comes to computers...to code...to open-source, I haven't got a
clue how to help him play.  I can help him explore the physical aspects
of computers...but not the power of "taking apart" and "rebuilding"
CODE; not the power of open source.

At my son's age, it seems that games that can encourage this
experimenting with the inside of computers...with building code into new
super powers...or even in teaching that there *is* a powerful inside to
a computer would be a perfect match with his interests.  


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