Battleships

When I learnt how to play battleships as a kid, it was with graph paper, a ruler, and pens. Calling out shots – A6, miss, E8, miss. Entertaining for a 7-year-old and a game that could be played anywhere with minimum resources.

In the 70s I got a battleship game. A plastic case, plastic pegs, plastic boats.

The game was the same as the paper game but with more colour, extra bits and pieces and contained in cases. Until a ship got lost. We then reverted back to the paper version until my brother got the electronic version one Christmas. This was like my plastic version but had sounds, lights and an onerous task of programming where the ships were located each time. It took an age and if you made an error about where the battleship was placed, you had to re-enter all of them.

In the end, we went back to playing with pen and paper when the batteries ran out.

The use of technology is great but if you’re just duplicating analogue processes, making systems at risk of failure because of component failure or loss or forcing new processes which are slower than the original, is it any wonder that learning tech fails to deliver what we expect?

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