[OLPC-Games] OLPC-Games : making the XO attractive for a young quebecois
ymoisan at cooptel.qc.ca
Mon Oct 8 11:20:40 EDT 2007
I'll abuse this list (and the cc'ed Toronto-dev list) a bit since for
now it's my only entry point in the OLPC project, so please redirect
this email to whatever other OLPC list it may belong to. This is going
to be a somewhat lengthy post. Please bear with me.
A bit of context first. I heard about the OLPC first through Alan Kay's
keynote at Europython 2006 and then through Eben Moglen's keynote at the
Plone Conference 2006 in Seattle, thanx to video footage of those two
events. I remember being thrilled by the very motives of the project
and then I was startled by the level of intelligent technology in the XO
per se. When I heard of the Give 1 Get 1 initiative through a recent
slashdot post, I wrote an email to the OLPC project (some info@ address
I believe) asking some questions about the usability of the XO for my
son. We live in Sherbrooke, Québec (Canada) a city of about 125 000
souls south-east of Montréal. Like most schoolboards in our rich
country that can't afford to provide computers to kids, computers in
classrooms are scarce : 4 machines for 54 pupils in the case of my
11-year old son's classroom. The school provides a small "lab" with
10-15 machines, but overall access to computing facilities is hard.
So here I am, trying to sell the XO to my son. From what I heard of
him, all they do on their classroom computers is the odd search on the
internet and some writing. I haven't heard of any collaborative work or
game playing in the classroom. On the other hand, what he does at home
with a computer is mostly chat -- MSN :-( -- and playing games, like so
many kids. So I'm looking for ways to drive some interest with him
about the XO and I'm looking for arguments. The fact we would give a
computer to a child in need certainly is strong, but I also need
practical arguments and #1 practical argument is games availability.
I read about the XO and found out it had wireless and it's own
radio-frequency WAN (which I gather allows kids to chat and
collaboratively work). Are games going to be that way too ? Is there
an official list of games ported to the XO ? For a kid used to a
windows environment, are there variations/equivalents of popular
commercial (Windows) games available on the XO ?
I'd really like to participate in the Give 1 Get One project but at the
same time I don't want to be the only one around with an XO since that
would kill IMO what is the XO's biggest advantage : a collaborative
environment (which means there's more than one machine in my area ...).
And that brings me to a question that goes beyond this list and the
Toronte dev list : has anybody heard of folks interested by a test
deployment in Québec ? Writing to my local schoolboard about free
software is useless so there needs to be a citizen initiative to shake
people up. I've set up a project on OpenPlans to help organize :
http://www.openplans.org/projects/olpc-sherbrooke so I would appreciate
this url to be circulated around.
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