Greg Costikyan, the tireless, incredibly prolific games designer, has released his classic tabletop game "Vector 3" as a free Creative Commons download. The game's more than a strategy diversion -- it also teaches vector arithmetic and Newtonian mechanics. Greg says,
Vector 3 is a 3D space combat board game; its virtue is that players learn the essentials of vector arithmetic and Newtonian mechanics by playing. On a number of occasions, people have told me they learned more about this from the game than from lecture courses. I could see using it in the context of a high-school math or physics course.
It's not a brilliant game, but not a bad one, either. I've rewritten the rules extensively, both to eliminate old-school SPI legalese and make them more readable, and to make some changes that I think improve the game. Mainly, these increase the effectiveness of torpedoes and mines; the problem with games where there's no terrain, facing is unimportant, and there's no equivalent of the weather guage, is that maneuver becomes irrelevant. The presence of missiles and mines at least gives some texture to space, and therefor a reason to maneuver.
Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive’s Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies — and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.
In May, Facebook division Oculus broke its longstanding promise not to use DRM to limit its customers’ choices, deploying a system that prevented Oculus customers from porting the software they’d purchased to run on non-Oculus hardware.
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
Bluetooth speakers may be convenient to use, but many of them just aren’t that powerful. Sure, it may be fine if you’re seated in front of the speaker. But move across the room, and you may strain to hear what’s coming from those tiny drivers.There’s a reason why the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (now $79.99 in the Boing […]