Uplink > General Discussions > Topic Details
Driving-School Piccolo Oct 5, 2013 @ 10:16am
Does this game teach real techniques and applicable skills?
I'm looking for things that teach applicable programming concepts and skills in various fields, while doing it in real-world example environments. Such a game would be awesome, I think.
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Oddbrother Oct 5, 2013 @ 11:16am 
Even if it were for criminal purposes?
qnmaster Oct 5, 2013 @ 12:03pm 
Not even close.
Fly Oct 5, 2013 @ 9:11pm 
Nope. Not at all.
Driving-School Piccolo Oct 7, 2013 @ 8:38pm 
Originally posted by Oddbrother:
Even if it were for criminal purposes?
Yeah, I'd probably be even more excited by it, in that case. I'd have a sense that I'm learning trickier maneuvers which are on the fringes of software overloading, making it do stuff that it was never intended to.

Too bad that it doesn't teach applicable skills. I have the game from a previous humble bundle. I just recently came across the Steam keys for it and a bunch of other games which I hadn't registered yet. I'll probably give it a bit of play.

I also was found an appeal to Analog for the same reason: the appearance of employing actual text command skills in order to achieve game progress. However, Analog simply used that as a log in mechanism, and didn't really continue a kind of gameplay like that, I look forward to eventual games that actually are played out using real programming skills and logic, even walking people with no experience through from no knowledge to solid beginner or intermediate skills in a language, in a game medium.
sounds like a wooosh Oct 21, 2013 @ 1:55am 
There is another game also done by the author of Analogue - A Hate Story. It's called 'Digital - A Love Story' and is available for free under a Creative Commons license.
It somehow uses a Amiga-GUI and plays with retro-style and mailbox-telephone-technology.

If you like such games as Uplink and Analogue, try it out! All three games have a lot in common! http://scoutshonour.com/digital/
Last edited by sounds like a wooosh; Oct 21, 2013 @ 1:56am
I2obiN Nov 13, 2013 @ 10:57am 
Programming concepts and skill? Nah
Shalmendo Dec 1, 2013 @ 7:43pm 
I would be very concerned if this game actually taught kids how to make password breakers and proxy bypasses... As a computer professional, in the Network field, I would be very concerned if such a game were to actually teach people real hacking skills as that would make the acts of perfoming illeagal activities easier to attain and desensitive people to the criminal nature of it. The game achieves a perfect balance between 'here's how you bypass a firewall and find an exploit in the target OS' and 'click this button for cookies' level of simplicity. It feels like you really are hacking, even though you aren't actually learning how to steal an old lady's credit card for real. I'm glad it's falsified, we have enough problems with people breaking past security for a large variety of reasons (From fraud to showing off) and not enough people have good hardened security as it is. Teaching six year old how to hack would be like giving nuclear weapons to the terrorists.

I have played this game for many many hours, even before it was on Steam, and While it does teach some general concepts that hackers use, it's vauge enough that the gameplay is fun and entertaining, and doesn't feel like you have to spend 2 weeks researching and writing a cracking script in order to make some fake money in the game. I would call this somewhat educational, but not on a level where somone can play the game, beat it, and suddenly know how to secure their PC against most threats. (I wish this were true, not enough people are properly secured.) Instead, you could use this as a general idea of how hackers operate, and make it a fun way to learn about computer security by interjecting the gameplay with lessons based on the various gameplay features, that apply them to real world security concepts and teach people about how it works in the real world, using the gameplay as a springboard to spark curiosity, interest, and discussion, leading into realization and understanding that yes, the game is just a game, but hackers actually do violate firewalls and steal information, just not quite as the game portrays. I would back the game up with teaching and materials if I was going to use this in an academic setting.
Last edited by Shalmendo; Dec 1, 2013 @ 7:46pm
Driving-School Piccolo Dec 1, 2013 @ 7:46pm 
Heh. Games that fundamentally teach real coding in general would be tons fun, though.
Shalmendo Dec 1, 2013 @ 7:51pm 
Originally posted by Siats Meekerorum:
Heh. Games that fundamentally teach real coding in general would be tons fun, though.

Agreed. I believe there is at least one board game that does, with a simpler language then C or anything, but it does teach genuine coding and logic concepts. I saw one flash game on a popular flash game site ending in 'grounds' as well but it needed alot of work and I can't remember the title.

Such a game would be good but it would be difficult to make it accessible to the players without requiring them to have a coding manual on hand all the time. It's probably possible but would take a very very careful implementation and execution of the concept to make it worthwhile. You can't just throw them into a simplistic game like 'code or die' and make them code in order to rescue the princess at the end of the level on the top half of the screen before the time runs out, or something like that. Edutainment is a horrible beast to try and wrangle, and is extremely difficult to get it just right...using famous nintendo characters to teach typing doesn't really cut it for me. (Aka Mario Teaches typing, really horrible game.)
Last edited by Shalmendo; Dec 1, 2013 @ 7:51pm
Dalimyr Dec 2, 2013 @ 5:12am 
Originally posted by Shalmendo:
Edutainment is a horrible beast to try and wrangle, and is extremely difficult to get it just right...using famous nintendo characters to teach typing doesn't really cut it for me. (Aka Mario Teaches typing, really horrible game.)
Well, things like Mario Teaches Typing are little more than attempts to milk Mario for all he's worth (something Nintendo have been doing for decades - in 30 years he's appeared in over 200 games). Nintendo couldn't really care if it's any good, they probably know it'll sell just because it has Mario in it.

There are some good typing games out there, though. Typing of the Dead is supposed to be pretty decent (and some of the phrases are hilarious, along with the traditional amateurish HotD voice-acting Watch peaches__ flying through it at Summer Games Done Quick 2012), and Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing (which is free and was made in a month as part of a game dev challenge) isn't bad either.
But on the whole edutainment is pretty poorly done.
Last edited by Dalimyr; Dec 2, 2013 @ 5:13am
Shalmendo Dec 2, 2013 @ 8:55am 
Originally posted by Dalimyr:
Originally posted by Shalmendo:
Edutainment is a horrible beast to try and wrangle, and is extremely difficult to get it just right...using famous nintendo characters to teach typing doesn't really cut it for me. (Aka Mario Teaches typing, really horrible game.)
Well, things like Mario Teaches Typing are little more than attempts to milk Mario for all he's worth (something Nintendo have been doing for decades - in 30 years he's appeared in over 200 games). Nintendo couldn't really care if it's any good, they probably know it'll sell just because it has Mario in it.

There are some good typing games out there, though. Typing of the Dead is supposed to be pretty decent (and some of the phrases are hilarious, along with the traditional amateurish HotD voice-acting Watch peaches__ flying through it at Summer Games Done Quick 2012), and Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing (which is free and was made in a month as part of a game dev challenge) isn't bad either.
But on the whole edutainment is pretty poorly done.

I was referring to Mario Teaches Typing specifically as an example of a bad entertainment game, and that putting in characters from a fun game series doesn't make it good as a result.

If somone is going to teach with Uplink it willl take a lot of academic backing in a teaching setting to help bring the game concepts from the heavily fictionalized versions that they are, and bridge them over to real world concepts as a teaching point. It would be difficult, but possible if done properly.
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