Tag Archives: games

Enter the Dragon

navigation made easy

I  enjoyed algebra in high school. I actually retained the ability to solve a word problem half way through June of that year. I didn’t seem to have the knack and really didn’t see the application.  I managed to avoid the subject altogether until junior college. In aviation classes, it turns out,  algebra is a gateway drug. It leads to things like trigonometry and celestial navigation – on a slide rule.

Circa 1975: there were no smart phones, or personal computers. My data processing class consisted of learning to run a keypunch machine. I managed to survive math requirements by reverse engineering formulas but never understood the process.

I was researching material on gamification when I came across DragonBox. I have absolutely fallen for the concept. I watched a five year old solve quadratic equations in seconds.

The concept behind DragonBox is one of those simple, why didn’t they do this before, ideas. A semester of algebra concepts distilled into an addicting game that doesn’t require text or instructions. The game provides immediate feedback and adapts to the player by repeating concepts that were missed in a particular round.

Humans make rules to explain their environment by trial and error and then by applying the rules to similar situations. In DragonBox the player determines the rules of the game and in doing so learns the rules of algebra. Absolutely brilliant. 

I’ve made it through the first game, 50 or so levels. I’m not quite ready to take on the 5-year old.

I had limited success with train problems

I’d like another crack at the problem involving the trains.