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Comment In the Words of Arthur Dent (Score 5, Interesting) 157

I liked it.

I mean sure, I was eight at the time, but I really did enjoy it. It taught me a surprising amount, too.

The weird pit collision thing, for example, taught me that video games had different physical rules than real life, and that what I was seeing was less important than what the computer was interpreting.

Dropping into pits without warning also honed my reflexes. I became good at levitating before I hit the ground.

The map (in which six screens were arranged as a cube) gave me an intuitive grasp of non-Euclidean geometry, and to adapt to the weirdness and even use it to evade the bad guys. I feel completely prepared if I ever suddenly manifest extra-dimensional mutant powers.

The ever-declining energy stat taught me efficiency. I got good at allocating my time and resources (and I was good and ready for Gauntlet when it came out a couple years later).

And, of course, it taught me to be patient. This allowed me to later beat games like Ninja Gaiden, Battletoads, Zelda II, and Demon's Souls. And college.

Comment Khan Acadamy != Teaching (Score 1) 134

For what it's worth, IAAMT who has worked with ALEKS and Khan Academy.

The Khan Academy videos aren't bad, but they're really just textbooks that move and talk.

The Khan Academy mastery exercises aren't bad, but they're really just worksheets of arbitrary length. The instant feedback is pretty cool, but it's just a faster way of doing a worksheet and then checking against the teacher's key.

The instant feedback for a teacher isn't bad, and it makes monitoring student progress more efficient, and making tasks more efficient is the bailiwick of software engineering. That said, throwing Khan Academy (or ALEKS or other similar program) at students will get you pretty much the same result as tossing them a textbook and some worksheets.

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