I sent this letter to a game designer. As a homeschooling mother, I appreciate this guy's game and the work he does. I don't play the game anymore, but he has captured my son's long-term interest which makes shcooling so much easier.
Ten to fifteen years ago my husband and I worked in the kernel group at Sun. Most of us in the group analyzed system core files, solved performance problems, and played KoL.
Most of us only played for a year or two, but my husband has played consistently since then.
My son, as children do, like(d)s to watch daddy play games on the computer. I think he started watching his KoL turns around the age of 5 or so.
My son is now 11. He's dyslexic with an elephant memory.
You have facilitated much of his learning. I know it was you (KoL) and not school, because he is homeschooled.
He learned to read so he could play his own KoL character (and read D&D manuals, which, wow, those are hard to read without dyslexia).
He's had to learn to spell to play KoL. Last night he learned "beautiful." I think it has something to do with rainbows. (I haven't played in about eight years. I'm ignorant of beautiful rainbows.)
He's learned a lot of math because of KoL. A few days ago he came to me and asked for help. "Mom, if I adventure in this spot, there's an average drop of this much meat. There's also a chance of this item being dropped and that item being dropped. I can sell this item for this much at the mall and ... How do I calculate the average value of a meat I can get when I adventure in this spot?"
I couldn't have come up with a better word problem if I tried.
Due to your mall, he has developed a great interest in economics. Following the price of rainbows or whatever in the mall and such has led to him following the price of the stock of the company his daddy works at, the local grocery store, and a few other companies. He farms meat in your game, but he saves his money at home for his entry into the stock market.
So, thank you for teaching my son. I truly appreciate it.