Introducing preferential voting would help more than tweaking the electoral college. Ignore the title of this link, but consider the basic idea. If you could vote for Stein or Johnson or whomever, and then have your vote flow on to another larger party if they were eliminated, it solves your duopoly problem; the smaller parties aren't wasted votes, and the larger parties have to make deals with them based on their levels of support. Start a Flyover Party for the flyover states if they feel unrepresented. Why not, once the duopoly is broken? Start whatever parties the people actually want.
At least, that looks to be your main problem from my other-side-of-the-world perspective. Fixing the state-based gerrymandering of either side would help also. The parties use that to tilt the electoral college balance.
I don't mind it.
All changes look bad initially.
Prediction: After a week non-one will notice. We will have always been at war with EastAsia.
This and "Just do it" (esp. by sharing the results with school-friends doing the same thing) are the best answers thus far. I'll add a third idea:
No-one has yet mentioned the importance of thinking about the nature of challenges, and so, what games fundamentally are, why they're enjoyable, why there are fundamental limits to that enjoyment in any one game, and how to push them. This book, A Theory of Fun, was extraordinary on those subjects. Might be worth leaving it lying around:
The real loaded weapons are these people waiting to go off. And without guns, they won't be stopped. They will resort to other things. Poisonings? Gassings? Bombings? Stabbings and slashings? What will we hope to take away from EVERYONE then? Gasoline? Propane?
This argument fails. Unstable people become dangerous when they have an especially depressing week, or they go off the meds. Suicides and homicides happen in this window. If assault weapons aren't at hand then assault weapons won't be used. These are different to bombs, poison or even handguns and rifles. Bombs and mass poisonings take time to plan, by which time a person will usually stabilize again. Stabbings are less likely to be fatal, or numerous, or even successful, and they require more courage. Even handguns or non-automatic rifles take time to load or are harder to aim. But access to an assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine mean that almost anyone can reliably put on a massacre. It's much easier to prevent access to such weapons than to make mental illness disappear. When the US Constitution was written, muskets could be loaded and fired three times per minute, if you had practiced well. That was plenty for the purpose of self-defense, or for the people to hold the government to account. There's no constitutional argument for assault weapons, and the "people will just use bombs" argument fails when the dynamics of mental illness are considered.
We have a winner. There has to be something they themselves want to accomplish by programming. Get that sorted and get out of the way.
I used to have books of (printed!) computer game programs that I would type into my Atari 800XL, which of course led to writing my own once I knew how they worked, and friends with the same interests playing my games and me playing theirs. There was a 1986 edition of Scientific American which had a Mandelbrot set on the cover, and the algorithm inside, and I remember when the first six-hour run successfully produced a 40x40 image of the whole set.
The right tech now depends on what they want to accomplish. But get them to imagine themselves showing their friends their OWN phone app, or web app (whether a game or something else), and you won;t have to worry about their motivation from then on. You just need to be there for questions when they hit a roadblock.
And if they don't like programming, help them be good at what they do like.
I can't use my mod points when I've posted in the thread.
Mod +1 Informative...
I would say mod parent up... But remembered that *I* have mod points. MAHAHAHAHHHH!!!!
Seriously, you just say: "You know that ANYONE can do that, yeah?" when they like something a computer does.
Myself, I took the 1986 Scientific American article with the fractals on the cover and coded up the algorithm on little PC with 64K or RAM, and never looked back. I've used to assume that the question for a ten year old would be "Would you like to write your own game?"
well, it's PHP. And the competition is not PHP. So the competition wins.
No, the competition is, for example,
"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson