In December of 2007 I became fascinated with the One Laptop Per Child project. The OLPC project is a unique opportunity for geeks, like myself, to give something really valuable to a whole generation of children. The physical design of the XO laptop gets the most attention in the media, and for many good reasons, but the software design is amazing as well.
The interface, Sugar, is the most radical re-design of the traditional desktop environment that I’ve seen in ages. They have integrated the concept of networking, buddies, view-source and collaborative editing into the core and done away with such things as file browsing, applications and even double-clicking.
It is pretty easy to get the software running via emulation, so I followed some of the online tutorials and wrote a maze game. It started as a port of an old game I wrote called Amazing Maze but turned into something much more entertaining. The key ingredient is multi-player. It is absurdly easy to add multiplayer features to a game on the OLPC. You get buddy joined events, private and broadcast messages just like you get mouse and keyboard events. Easy as pie.
If you have an OLPC, or want to run the software via an emulator, then you can download my game and try it out.
If you want to order an actual laptop, check to see if the Give 1 Get 1 program is running again this year.