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Education Games

Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids? 338

Posted by samzenpus
from the starting-them-early dept.
First time accepted submitter pseudorand writes "I have a 3 year old that I've so far kept away from TV and computers. I met a gamer who has a 1 year old that plays xbox (probably better than I do). I believe kids should experience the real world first, but computers will obviously be a basic job still for the foreseeable future and I'm afraid I'm letting my kid fall behind. I'd like to responsibly introduce my son to computers so he can start developing hard-eye coordination, typing skills and learning UI concepts. What's the best (Linux, of course) game to get a kid started with? Shoot-em-up's are obviously out, but I'm more concerned with something that will help him understand how to interact with a mouse, keyboard and screen and hold his attention rather than something 'educational' because there's plenty of (probably more effective) ways to teach math, reading, etc. that don't involve a computer. So far I've tried Tux Racer, which held his attention for 10 minutes or so. He doesn't quite get pressing multiple keys simultaneously yet."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids?

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  • Re:nethack (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @09:11PM (#41653465)
    Roguelikes will teach you your ABC too [google.com], great for a young kid

    All kidding aside, Angband is one of the best games I've ever played to date still. After about 1000 tries, I did an ironman noupstairs win.

    The learning curve is moderate to learn all the keystrokes and commands, but the game itself is really indepth and pure fun if you know what depths to get your resists. Make sure you download a version of Angband that has autosquelch in it. The guy who wrote autosquelch did it mostly out of a kind gesture for me! It shows you how cool Open Source guys can be. I wish I had his name, but I don't because I lost that data with a hard drive crash. I thought it was Dr. Andrew White, but Angband's page is saying: Dave Blackston.

    I actually encountered something REALLY cool in Zangband once. I charmed some monsters who were spawning and polymorphing themselves. So half the dungeon was a bunch of monsters I owned, and the other half was a bunch of monsters that spawned as enemies. It was like one giant war around me. I have been making video games on my own, on the off chance I can recreate the scene, because it is incredibly... interesting.

    Of course Angband's learning curve is about too much for anyone under 9. But if you've never played it, you can find it Here [rephial.org]. It is the predecessor to games like Torchlight. Compared to Nethack, you actually do a lot more hack and slash in Angband because you're fighting tons of monsters. If you want ez mode imo, go half-troll/warrior.
  • by Dahamma (304068) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @09:41PM (#41653621)

    WHAT? Letting children play with games. Is retarded. All of these anti video game posters have got to be fucking kidding with this.

    Is there anyone here who didn't play games (and most likely video games) as a kid? For me personally, playing video games as a kid led me to hacking video game saves which let me to writing my own video games (Eamon was a great early text RPG where you could write your own modules in BASIC).

  • by Capsaicin (412918) * on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:43PM (#41654315)

    By force it to be Linux rather than something your child is likely to see outside your narrow view of the world. Might as well force him/her to speak Latin at home as well.

    The benefits of speaking a 2nd language at home are too well know to dwell upon. You never know, being exposed to one may have saved you from being chained in your sadly narrow view of the world.

    Latin, being not only the root language of the Romance languages, it is also a key to better understanding other European languages such as English, German &c., would be undoubtedly provide the child with great advantage. However since hardly any one is fluent enough actually to speak it at home this is unlikely to be a viable option.

    As far as OSs, and their GUI frontends. I (doubt|hope) that the differences between a contemporary Linux GUIs and Windows or even Mac will be anywhere near as great as those between our GUIs and those that will dominate some 15 years from now (when said 3 year old may have to use computers professionally). My boys are conversant with linux, windows and OSX (thought they prefer the latter), and this has certainly not inhibited their skills in any one OS. So I can confidently say, without wanting to appear overly offensive, "you are full of shit mate!"

    I'm showing my age here, but it only took those of us who grew up without computers (not entirely true, my first computer was a Kosmos Logikus) a week or three to learn how to use the early GUIs. There's nothing in there that is conceptually difficult for a reasonably intelligent young adult to pick up and learning to use a pointing device is a sinch for most anyone under that age of 60 (which isn't to say some 80 year olds don't find it a sinch either).

    Computer exposure for children is somewhat overrated. Given the choice between learning multiplication tables by rote (which the school is refusing to teach my kids, "we don't do that any more") and developing "mouse skills" which is considered essential for modern survival, I would choose the former. Thank FOSS for ... TUXMATH for teaching well, what the school will not (and you only need a keypad!) But probably not quite for a 3 year old (unless said 3 year old is Terence Tao).

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