Friday, November 11, 2011

Social networks, fairies, and Club 369

One of the CS222 project teams is working on Club 369: The Game. "Club 369" is a reference to the Computer Science undergraduate lab, RB369, and the camaraderie that the space affords. The game is a Computer Science quiz constructed of multiple-choice questions.

On Thursday, the team gave their milestone presentation. Here's a screenshot of their executable release.

Club 369: The Game, Milestone #1
That guy on the bottom-right is "The Dr. G. Fairy". Let's take a closer look...

The Dr. G. Fairy
Clicking on him removes two of the incorrect choices, leaving the player with a 50/50 chance if they guess. Needless to say, this presentation got quite a reaction from the other students. When a student asked, incredulously, "Why?" a team member responded, "He's Dr. G. He helps you learn Computer Science." This is the nicest complement I've received in some time!

After class, one of the students posted the picture to the Ball State Computer Science Facebook Group, where it became a hit. It may seem a bit silly, but as I see it, it's a great success for the department. We created the Facebook group to help foster a sense of community among our students and alumni, and we've had some luck with members sharing informational links, job opportunities, and the like. The fact that students feel they can share this kind of fun content as well shows that we have succeeded in our goal. (I had to do a bit of legwork to understand the Butterfree and Hey! Listen! references in the comments, but this made it even more fun for me.)

Of course, I immediately changed my Facebook profile picture to the Dr. G. Fairy. This led some old friends to reminisce about the classic "Get Paul some shirts with color" Flash animation—a reference to my proclivity to wear black when playing at Higher Grounds Coffeehouse. I think we all assumed the animation was lost to the ages. My clever and creative friend Matt was able to find the old image and recreated the animation with a brand new feature.