On a recent Virgin America flight, I pulled up the video game menu to see what was on offer, and was immediately draw to Rocks’n’Diamonds because it reminded me of another old game I used to play on the Apple II/c: Boulder Dash. After figuring out how to remap the controls, I played a bunch of levels, and was reminded of how much fun these were. They have enough action to keep the adrenaline above baseline, but blindly running isn’t the answer. Even real time strategy games feel a little hectic compared to this. I’d love to see studies on the effect these games have on developing minds.
Just this week, I lost a bunch of time to Fantastic Contraption, which is a great physics simulation puzzle game. The game reminds me a lot of the kind of problem-solving that Odyssey of the Mind requires, in digital instead of physical form. Is anyone using this sort of thing in teaching either programming or physics?