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Massively Multiplayer Math

I've blatantly ripped this link from Raph Koster, but the title is just too tempting not to plagiarize.

Named for the student of Pythagoras who is credited with discovering irrational numbers, Hippasus is a new MMO designed to teach math by casting players in the roles of "arithmancers," sorcerers who perform their magic by leveraging mathematics. From the website:

The purpose of Hippasus is to give users a both fun and educational experience. For those users unfamiliar or not confident with principles of mathematics the game helps to both educate and encourage. The purpose is to provide concrete and exciting meaning to concepts that are often considered to be vague or esoteric and to give players a better understanding of the way their world works. For users who are confident and experienced the game provides a sandbox allowing them to test and visualize mathematical ideas, as well as a social world in which mathematical achievement is linked to power, influence and respect.

With the widespread use of online games has come virtual communities, societies and even economies that have had a direct impact on the world that we live in. It is our goal to positively contribute to society through this game by helping players to develop a greater appreciation for and understanding of the world that we live in, with hopes of encouraging those would would otherwise give up on mathematics and related fields.

I think a game like this was due for some time. Notice how the creators of this game are keying on a number of features of multiplayer games that have yet to be fully explored and understood: catering to both newbies and experienced users, building and leveraging the sense of community, using game incentives to achieve real-world change, and using education as both a cause and effect of gameplay. I would be very interested to see how the game plays and will keep you posted of updates when/if I encounter them.

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Comments on Massively Multiplayer Math
  Comment from Blogger gnome at Friday, March 30, 2007 10:26:00 AM
Brilliant find!

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.