At the risk of sounding like an opinionated puritanical zealot, I think computer games are a waste of precious time. There is just too much cool stuff to learn and to do to spend hours each day playing stupid games on a computer. Now for the hypocritical truth: I do enjoy sudoku and solitaire on my iPad. Sudoku is a fun challenge but solitaire is an evil time sink that is all-too-easy to justify when I’m feeling wiped out or wasting time doing things like waiting for flights. If I could add up all of the 5-10 min “passing time” moments that I manage to flit away on stupid computer games, I could probably add another serious hobby or write a book.
My cousin’s son Matt (either my first cousin once removed or second cousin–who made up this relationship nomenclature???) recently hooked me on a computer game that, in my opinion, isn’t a waste of time. It is even worth doing! I spent hours during a leisurely family vacation at the beach doing this game, and I not only loved it but am willing to suggest that you try it too. The game is based on Euclid’s Elements and is called “Euclid: The Game”:
I must admit that I love Euclid and think that it should form the basis of almost any area of math or science. It is the core of the great books education at St. John’s College, my first college before saddle making. But Euclid goes far beyond STEM, because it is also a wonderful system of logic and reason. It is beautiful art, with nice geometric shapes and relationships. I always use geometry in my leather work, and braiding must trace its lineage directly to Euclid. Prof Frank Weinhold, one of my PhD co-advisors, developed a system of thermodynamics that is based on Euclidean geometry.
Euclid is a beautiful example of reason and logic that is also practical and useful in real life, and “Euclid: The Game” captures the spirit nicely. I hope you will all try this game and send the author a donation so that he can continue adding new levels and challenges for future vacations!
While I’m on the topic, I’d also like to recommend a nice interactive Ebook version of Euclid’s Elements by Saltir. It’s the real book but with nice interactive pictures that expand the experience. I bring it everywhere I go on my iPad!
Let me know what you think of Euclid and please send suggestions of your favorite not-a-waste-of-time games.