Thursday, June 07, 2007


Teaching is an odd thing; it's a tradeskill where more than one person has to work towards the same goal : educating the uneducated. It's a cooperative minigame, where the results are based on both the results of the teacher and the results of the students, so it's hardly 'wait and watch the free skill increases'.


Before the teaching starts, the teacher has to prepare his material; this is done in a kind of hide-and-seek game, where relevant materials are hidden among irrelevant ones. Once time runs out, or enough material has been found, the course proper can start.

Class takes different looks, depending on what it is about (blackboard teaching for regular classes, practical work for some trade skills, or maybe training dummies for combat classes). The teacher has to make sure students stay aware by concentrating their attention on them, and make sure the class progresses at a decent pace.

For students, the system is similar; they first need to find what they will need for the class, just as the teacher does.

The second part, however, is different; they will need to play some kind of tetris with the information they get. If they play poorly, the teacher has to give them attention to lower their 'field'; if they play well, the class as a whole progresses better, since they don't take the attention of the teacher. As well, the students get some bonuses too; if they notice that another student close to them isn't doing well, they can try giving them help directly. In a way, this is a cooperative tetris-like game.

Now, some may oppose to a player's result being tied in to another player's capacities, but that is essentially what happens in group adventuring in MMORPGs; if one player plays poorly, the whole group suffers. The most important thing, in the teaching minigame, is the skill of the teacher; poor teachers would get smaller classes if their name isn't well-seen, while a good teacher would be known enough that students will come from far and wide to attend his top-notch classes. Likewise, a top-tier teacher could be entitled to refusing certain students they deem unworthy of their attention. Good sensei don't teach neophytes; that's what introductory classes are for.

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