Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

Monthly Archives: May 2010


It’s afternoon now. The banks are closed and I’ve got only to pack and return a few odds and ends to Alan and Donna. Eric and I will drive up to Joburg tomorrow morning with Nathi. After we drop him off, we fly to Atlanta, and then part ways as he goes back to SF and I head to Las Vegas.

The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of fun and productivity. I am almost surely coming back next year, unless something comes up to stop me. I’ll try posting some summaries of the stuff we did, but for now I’ll just put up a link to a little educational game Eric and I made: South Africa Motor Tour. Give it a moment to start up from the black screen.

It’s a simple idea — just a way for kids can practice their lessons in a game format. The game is extensible, so teachers can add lessons. I’ve put in two “easy” lessons so you can see how it works. If you want to test your high school math and science feel free to try the other tests, but don’t be surprised if it’s harder than you remember.

In an attempt to give some replay value, each test has a specific destination, each with three pictures and three music clips. The game may seem pretty simplistic, but for the kids in rural areas here it goes over well. I was surprised by how much they seemed to enjoy playing it. The benefits of being without a Playstation, I suppose.

I have lots of ideas about how to improve the game, and I hope to add a significant amount of the actual curriculum, which I think is key to selling “learning games” to the teachers here. From what I’ve seen, I think it could be a very nice addition to the teaching process.

I feel like I could stay here another two months and find plenty more to do. The feeling that my skills can be so helpful here give me a sense of drive that I have a hard time capturing at home. I’ll try to hold on to that energy until I can get back here next year…

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