Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Graduate School: The Game!

So Beorn, who is currently an undergrad, has started reading PhD. Beorn reads a number of comics online and we even have a small collection at home, but this new interest scares me. He's reading all about the worse aspects of grad school and not being scared off. Maybe he's serious about it. Beorn is forty and I'm already feeling old and poor at thirty-three. On the positive side, at least we are staying young at heart.

Yesterday I started thinking about how graduate school is a game. It doesn't matter that I really like teaching and want to help with various campus service projects. The name of the game is to accomplish as much research as possible while accumulating lots of grants/fellowships. So logically, our conversation rapidly turned to the creation of a computer game about graduate school, maybe modelled off Disaffected! The game would be extremely difficult and frustrating. It would mostly involve avoiding undergrads and your advisor while collecting free food and research points. Various events in the games would change the objectives temporarily (think Pac Man). For instance, most of the time you wouldn't have enough research points accumulated, so you would want to avoid your advisor, but at times you would need to find your advisor for signatures, etc. I think the game would be very educational as it would uncover the hidden agendas inherent in academic life. Any skilled game designers out there ready to take on an extra project?

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