Interland “sweetener”

Google has created a series of games for kids to learn how to “be internet awesome”. It’s called Interland, which one translation dictionary tells me means “international contest” in Dutch.

Here’s a look at the game and the thinking behind it:

Here are a couple of articles about it from the past week’s news:

I played it for a little while yesterday and got to the 3rd level, feeling all the while how bad I am at games like this. I didn’t grow up playing computer games — not because they weren’t available (at least later in my formative years) but just a lack of interest. I do remember having a very good friend who spent entirely too much time playing something called Dark Castle. I got pretty good at that one.

Anyway, I don’t know how successful this game is at teaching people about online safety or digital citizenship, but for people who like games like this, at least it’s not violent. As the Verge article says, it

“seems less like a training tool and more like a sweetener that could get students interested in the material.”

Auto Draw and other AI experiments

Have you tried Auto Draw yet? It’s a lot of fun, especially for people who get frustrated at their complete lack of artistic skills.

 

This morning’s attempt:

 

This made me laugh… My awful drawing and some of the things the AI thought I might mean:

I’m really not quite that bad at drawing, but doing it on a mousepad rather than a tablet and stylus — and before my morning coffee — is an excuse.

See some other AI experiments here.