This podcast is a 40 minute interview with Alexander, a 10 year old fourth grader who has been playing the online simulation war game Travian for the past month. In addition to being fun and highly engaging, Travian requires players to quantitatively manage multiple resources (wheat, clay, iron, and wood,) negotiate alliances, effectively deal with external threats, and manage both economic relationships and personal relationships with other players. Travian does NOT involve any animations or video simulations, but rather involves managing resources and making decisions about those resources in realtime. In this podcast, Alexander explains what he has learned in playing the game so far, mistakes he has made and learned from, and advice he’d offer to others wanting to play Travian. Clearly online, interactive simulation and role-playing games offer a host of opportunities for players of all ages to cultivate problem solving and critical thinking skills, as well as knowledge about economics, mathematics, social sciences, history, and other content areas. There is NO CHARGE to play Travian online, although “Travian Plus” options are available for a fee which provides additional capabilities to players. Neither Alexander or I have paid any money up to this point to play Travian.

SHOWNOTES:

  1. Podcast240: Travian Tips and Lessons Learned After Four Months Playing Online
  2. The U.S. server for Travian
  3. The main, worldwide homepage for Travian (click on your flag at the top to go to the desired country and language server)
  4. WikiPedia entry for Travian
  5. Travian Tips
  6. Screenshots of Alexander and Wesley’s current Travian villages and surrounding fields
  7. Tips from Travian user Forum for Newbies (what to do if you are “getting farmed”)
  8. Blog post addressing addiction to Travian problems (see comment #6 especially)

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