My 10 year old son and I are continuing to play the free online strategy game Travian, and the game on our server has moved into its final stages. To win the game, members of an alliance must first conquer a village from the Natars tribe which contains the plans for a Wonder of the World (WOW) and then build that Wonder of the World to level 100. Members of our alliance have conquered five Natars villages and are now racing to build our WOWs up to win the endgame.

To calculate which of our WOW villages are closest to my villages for resupply, I used the free Travian World Analyzer (which my son taught me about, of course) to map my own villages. Travian uses an x – y grid coordinate plane, and my villages (along with most of the players in our alliance) are located in the southeast quadrant. After creating this graph, I made a screensnap of it with Skitch and then added my own points to it for our WOW villages. In this way, I was able to determine which WOW villages I can resupply with resources fastest as well as alliance “feeder villages” close to the WOW villages. Mainly our villages need wheat to feed the thousands of troops we have sent to them as reinforcements.

Travian map of World Wonder locations relative to my cities

Even though I am very familiar with coordinate grid graphing, it was VERY helpful to me to see this visual representation of both my own village locations and those of my alliance’s WOW villages. It was quite nice and handy to use a website tool to create this initial map and then add my own data points to. This experience reinforces the value of graphing and visually representing information rather than simply viewing it in a textual format. This value is not just expressed in a theoretical or conceptual way, the knowledge gained from this graphing activity is ACTIONABLE. As a result of the information and knowledge I gained by remixing this data and creating this graph, I am now able to contribute more constructively to the WOW village building activities of our alliance.

I love the way playing Travian has provided my son and I ongoing opportunities to use and practice mathematics skills. I wrote about this a bit in May in the post “Fun learning math while conquering a foreign village.” For more background, see our podcast discussions about Travian from March 2008 and December 2007. I AM looking forward to the game on our server winding down and ending, and I don’t think I’ll be playing “another round” on a different Travian server, but this experience has certainly been filled with learning on multiple fronts for both my son and I as well as fun!

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