tirsdag 10. februar 2009

Legally gaming in English lessons

Today Mrs. Michaelsen requested Mr. Fossum and me to play a computer game. The game, Urban Design Associates, is under development and our teacher wanted us to make a small review of it.

The site was nice: The design was practical and good looking. However, how to find and start the game wasn't obvious. After a bit of wondering, I figured out that the maps found in the category "Project: State Street" was the actual game. First there was information about the street, this was nice, but the design was boring, there was no extra scrolling device while reading the text and some places there was too much information (such as the timeline).

Next, I went to the practice map, first I didn't realize what I was supposed to do here. There should have been some kind of tutorial, although our teacher should have explained it to us before we started. When I finally figured out what to do, the difficulty was to remember the codes for different zones. This should have been placed in the screen, so that you can see it all the time, or the names of the zones should be full names rather than codes. However, it didn't take long before I remembered most of the codes.

I assume that this game is about learning to co-operate, accept different views and making compromises. This is not very obvious: When you prefer one type of zone, or ignore other zones, there should be reactions to it. Without this aspect, it becomes a city planning game, and as this it's easily beaten by SimCity 3000 and such. All in all, I find the game bad-looking, somewhat incomprehensible and plain dull.

I might post more on this subject later, but I doubt it.

tirsdag 3. februar 2009

Reconciliation in Northern-Ireland

Today an article was printed in a Norwegian newspaper, called Aftenposten. A new report wants to give all the the victims of violence financial support of about 10 000 £. There is however a great upset because this includes the families of the terrorists from back then. This is seen by the victims as giving money to terrorists, thus paying them for their actions.

I find this to be wrong, perhaps the victims should get money for their losses, but certainly not the terrorists. Additionally, I think that if this is to be done, they should wait until after the so-called financial crisis, when the government might actually be able to afford it.

In this reconciliation-plan, the IRA and other paramilitary groups have to apologize for their actions and promise never to use violence again. I find this nearly as problematic as the financial part. This is because they did what they believed was right, they fought for their own freedom and rights, and to apologize for this is to submit to English rule. If they also swear not to use violence, they have lost their edge, and hope of gaining home rule.

I have earlier done some work on the conflict in Ireland/Northern-Ireland, and I might post some of it here. Video is a song from the IRA, and somewhat funny.