November 9, 2007

OLPC Gets It's Game On

One Laptop Per Child, an MIT driven project to deliver $100 laptops to children accross the world, has received a generous donation from EA: the original SimCity! OLPC now has a certifiable big-name game as part of its package.
Electronic Arts will donate the original SimCity city-building game to each computer in the non-profit One Laptop Per Child humanitarian initiative, which designs, manufactures and distributes inexpensive laptops to children around the world with the goal of giving every child in the world access to modern education.
Having done a fairly exhaustive project involving OLPC, I feel attached to any bit of news I hear about it. I never thought that I would be reporting on gaming-related news for the OLPC! I support the project 100% and want to take a moment to talk about it.

OLPC is not here to simply deliever cheap laptops. The laptops have a purpose and a guiding principal. Constructionism, a philosophy of education in which children learn by doing and making, really sets the OLPC project apart from other cheap laptop projects. There are plenty of other companies setting out to prove they can make cheaper laptops. OLPC will always have them beat because of their philosophy, instead of just trying to make the cheapest laptop possible.

Currently, the laptop does cost more than $100 to produce, but the $100 tagline still sticks with the project. It is a goal and I fully believe they can achieve it. However, staying under $300 will still be a great accomplishment. After all, in a world where gamers throw down $500 for the latest video card, I can't help but stop and admire what OLPC has done and will continue to do.