Coding 2 Learn

Education and Technology Ramblings with a little Politics for good measure.

Computer Games Are A Waste Of Time

When I was a kid I played a lot of computer games. I once played Betrayal at Krondor for so long that I started hallucinating from sleep deprivation. When I was at Uni I chose to mow-down humanoid warthogs in Duke Nukem rather than learn metabolic pathways for amino acid synthesis and failed an important exam.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I gave up gaming in the traditional sense, years ago. I now recognise the stupidity of playing a computer game for hours on end, hoping to make the value of some variable creep upwards. Thank goodness I don't do that anymore. These days I'm far more sophisticated.

The Hacker News Game.

I've been playing The Hacker News game for just under a year. When I first started playing I was killed fairly quickly, what's known in HN circles as being Hellbanned. It's a neat little mechanic where by the NPCs introduce large amounts of lag into the game and hide your character from the other players. I'm still not sure what got me Hellbanned, so I just started again.

My second attempt at playing has been a little more successful. I created a new character called 'coding2learn', who is a kind of geeky computer science teacher. Since playing this new character I have gained nearly 1000xp, known as Karma in the game. The concept of The Hacker News Game is to go on a search for websites that would be of interest to Programmers and Technologists. When you find a website, you submit it to the community, who can then upvote your submission and reward you with xp.

Like most MMORPGs, The Hacker News game allows you to interact with other players. To do this you use comments. Comments can also be upvoted, for additional xp, and if you are a high enough level you can even downvote comments. You're best off only commenting on things you are quite knowledgeable on. If you want to gain lots of upvotes, the more pedantic you are the better.

The Hacker News game is web based, although there is talk of a mobile app or optimisation coming soon.

The Twitter Game

I used to play The Facebook game, but I stopped when they kept changing all the game mechanics without notification. Besides, I interact with my friends and family enough irl. Instead I thought I'd give The Twitter Game a chance.

The basic idea of The Twitter Game is to gain followers. Followers are other players who might decide to join your clan, so that they can receive your pronouncements. There is no limit to the number of clans that a player can join, although it is often deemed a measure of success if you keep the ratio of people in your clan, to clans you are a member of, as high as possible.

You gain followers by making pronouncements. Humorous pronouncements are often best, but you can also make informative and controversial pronouncements in an attempt to gain followers. One of the quirky mechanics of The Twitter Game is that you have to make pronouncements in less than 140 characters. Sometime your pronouncements are spread further by your followers. This enables you to reach a wider audience and therefore increase your clan size.

In The Twitter Game I play more or less the same character as in The Hacker News Game. There are a few differences though. 'coding2learn' in The Twitter Game tries to use humour a little more and is a little less arrogant (although not much).

I've had moderate success in The Twitter Game, gaining over 1000 followers. I don't play it enough really to become an elite player.

The Twitter Game is web based, although there are apps for mobile that are quite good.

The Blogger Game

The Blogger Game is my favorite game of all. If you're reading this you're playing The Blogger Game right now, and so I should really say ‘thank you’ for the additional xp.

In the Blogger Game you write what are called 'posts'. It's a good idea to write posts that, like in The Twitter Game, are either funny or informative. There's no character limit in The Blogger Game though, and you can write really long posts if you want, although be aware that sometimes your post might be so long that people will comment TL;DR (too long; didn't read).

Success in The Blogger Game is determined by your scores in something called Google Analytics. Google Analytics is like a personal high-score table, that can tell you how well each of your posts has done and how well your blog is doing in general. There are loads of stats to play around with, such as first time visitors, bounce rate and time on page.

If you want to play The Blogger Game it's a good idea to decide on a topic to 'blog' about and stick with it. Regular posting is quite important, and something I struggle with. To get really high scores you need to be 'blogging' about once a week.

What I like about The Blogger Game, is its crossover with The Hacker News Game and The Twitter Game. Success in any of them can lead to success in the other two, even though they're created by completely different studios.

The Blogger Game is available on the web or as a stand alone app on mobile, PC, Mac and Linux. web based, although there are apps for mobile that are quite good.

So that’s my gaming life these days. I’m sure we can all agree that it is far preferable and productive than the waste of time that is CoD or WoW