Model farm simulator
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A model farm simulator could implement a virtual model farm, localized to the local agricultural conditions and traditions of a region or country.
The simulation game could link to all wikipedia articles related to agricultural terms used in the game and could require the player to read and remember the articles. The player could meet virtual figures who asked questions about the articles and, being unable the answer correctly, the player would be sent automatically to the village library (represented by a list of wikipedia portals) and would have to look up the answer.
The game could be one game in a group of games about essential industries, which could be embedded in something not entirely unlike the Simutrans simulation for a whole economy. The simulation could be used to vaguely approximate the industrial conditions of any given country or region. The enclosing simulation probably shouldn't be a game itself as that may be too time consuming to play. The player would just be able to start a single business and to observe other businesses in the economy; economic statistics could be processed in the R programming language. The player could be allowed to sell a business and to start a different one, though (possibly with a micro credit to get started). Players could also play in groups and trade with each other.
Virtual student company
Pupils could be invited to form groups and to operate realistic virtual student companies in a virtual economy.
The game could require a mentor to control factors of the simulated economy at regular intervals. The rationale is that the mentor should be motivated to take an interest in the game his or her protégé plays and to offer advice to the pupil what other applications of the laptop may be interesting at his or her age.
- See also: Computer games (Mentoring Handbook)
- ^ Although I wouldn't exactly recommend Simutrans (88.10.5) a train simulation may be useful to teach some basic concepts useful for programming. Signals, lines, waypoints and electrified or unelectrified tracks allow to program the traffic network and the network sometimes needs buffer space for the trains. One could probably use a traffic simulation as an entry level and go on to abstract the traffic network with a traffic simulation language, which then could become an actual programming language in a third step (allowing the implementation of new routing algorithms in the traffic network).