The LAN That Time Forgot

by Jeanne Aloia

Jeanne teaches Macintosh software. Two of her favorite people are Hypatia and Albert Einstein. She enjoys doing things people say can't be done.

Instructional Objective The learner will be able to:

* Name three standard communication services: FTP, E-Mail, and Telnet

* State the function of each service

Learners/Context Appropriate for anyone who wants to learn to get around the Internet; fourth or fifth grade and up.

The board game would be used to teach players the correct way to navigate around a LAN.

Rationale The California Education and Research Federation Network (CERFnet) plans to "adopt a high school" and will use this game (among other materials) to teach or reinforce networking terms and concepts. The game will also be used outside the high school setting. CERFnet staff members have created comic characters, namely "Captain Internet," "CERF Boy," and "Count Crackula" that will be used in the game.

Equipment The equipment consists of a board, a die, prize tokens (FTP, E-Mail, Telnet), distinctive playing pieces, and three sets of colored cards (FTP, E-Mail, Telnet). Each path and its set of cards are color coded. The cards will have either Captain Internet, CERF Boy, or Count Crackula on them. Captain Internet (CI) cards are "good" cards and contain rewards. CERF Boy (CB) cards are "fair" cards and may involve a reward or a penalty. Count Crackula (CC) cards are "bad" cards and contain penalties.

Preparation Place the board on a table and put the FTP, E-Mail, and Telnet cards face-down on their allotted spaces on the board. Each player chooses a token to represent her as she travels around the board and places it on the START square of one of the paths on the board.

Object To successfully navigate three paths: File transfer (FTP), Remote Login (Telnet), and Electronic Mail(E-Mail). The player who gets all three prize tokens first wins the game.

Number of Players From two to six.

Rules 1. Each player rolls the die. The player with the highest number starts the game.

2. The first player rolls the die and moves the number of spaces shown on the die. Two or more players may rest on the same space at the same time.

3. If a player lands on a square with the FTP, E-Mail or Telnet symbol, she chooses a card from the appropriate stack and follows the instructions on the card, placing the card on the bottom of the stack. There will be certain cards that a player may keep until needed, such as a "free turn."

4. When a player nears the end of a path, she must roll the exact number to enter the finish square.

5. When a player reaches the end of her path, she takes a prize token and moves her playing piece to the START of another path.

Sample FTP Cards (CI) Congratulations! You found Archie. Archie provides a list of FTP sites for you based on a topic specified by you. Roll the die again and take a free turn.

(CI) Congratulations, you found Internet Accessible Library Catalogs and Databases. This document helps you locate FTP sites attached to the Internet. Save this card for a free turn, now or later.

(CB) Shoot! You typed the wrong name and received an "Unknown host" message. Move back two spaces (and retype name).

(CC) Drat! Your Internet connection is down and you received a "No route to host" message. Contact your network manager and lose one turn while you are waiting for them to fix your connections.

(CB) Oops! Your terminal is not plugged into the network and you get a "Trying... connection timed out" message. Plug yourself into the network and move back two spaces.

Design Process Design issues to be addressed are:

* How many squares?

* How many prize tokens at the end?

* How many cards?

* How many squares containing symbols?

* Student Handbook?

* Glossary/Reference?

* Instructor Feedback?

* Time required to play?

Although the game meets elegance criteria such as: movement through space/time; shortcuts; obstacles; patterns of elements; elements with differing levels of power or value; and prizes, I intend to increase the elegance quotient.