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Iain M. Banks Gets Asteroid Named After Him

Edward Coffin Re:Whisky not Whiskey (30 comments)

Strangely, the quoted text was apparently not cut-and-pasted, since both the linked article and the IAU page correctly use the word whisky. The incorrect whiskey only appears here.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Mathematical Fiction?

Edward Coffin Greg Egan (278 comments)

Try something by Greg Egan. His short story Glory (pdf) is online.

more than 2 years ago

What's In an Educational Game?

Edward Coffin Open ended (160 comments)

I recommend that you read Brain Rot by Theodore Grey and Jerry Glynn. Among other things, it discusses this very topic. The summary I took away from it is you should make the game open-ended, giving full freedom to the player to go down the wrong paths, rather than being led down the right path.

Interesting snippets:

Software should not be unnecessarily hard to use, but neither should it shy away from or disguise the inherent richness of the subject matter. It should be open-ended, deep, and capable of doing senseless things if asked.

In a continuation of the above point, in a discussion of programs to teach geometry:
If students decide to build a completely useless geometrical construction, the program won't stop them. It lets them discover for themselves that their construction is uninteresting. This is very important: By allowing freedom to go off in the wrong direction, the software is giving students the opportunity to learn.

more than 5 years ago


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