One of my favorite nonfiction authors, Steven Johnson, has an article in today’s New York times: The Long Zoom. He writes about Will Wright’s still-in-development game, Spore, and the way it can help people take a set back to look at the bigger picture and how their actions are connected into it.
Sporeâ€™s players will get to experience firsthand how choices made on a local scale â€” a single creatureâ€™s decision to, say, adopt an omnivorous lifestyle â€” can end up having global repercussions.
Those connections, between one’s actions and the consequences that aren’t seen right away, are a big part of maturity. Johnson posits that perhaps games like this one would be g good educational too, and I agree. Exploration is a powerful tool for learning.
Connections are always interesting, and the next book I’m starting is in it’s own way connected. Recommended by Alex Lindsay (or was it Emery Wells? It was one of the TWIM guys), The Victorian Internet is about the rise and decline of the telegraph, and offers the promise of connections to today’s online experience.