Over the course of many years and more than 1,400 postings I have been the only writer for this blog. Time to bring in a fresh perspective. This piece is by Fergus Murphy of Trinity College, Dublin. He is a master’s civil engineer working with us. His writing caught my eye. I like his attitude. With a bit of luck we will have him post more. He will put his name at the end of the pieces he posts, so that you may attack him rather than me.
Today I received an email which included the note “….in your spare time”, and a link. The site was called “mine of the future” but the piece that caught my eye was the last word in the link which simply read “/game/”. Since I had just arrived at my desk, and was in my checking email mode, I clicked on the link, curious to see where I would be taken. Incidentally I think that if you were in the business of sending viruses, this would be a fantastic way to catch the morning office employee.
It was a game! Truck Controller was the title and apparently Hugh S, and Lisa H are some of the best players on the net. So I gave it go. I was relatively proud of my 100 point score in level 1, but after playing for a minute or two I began to feel guilty and wasn’t about to have my colleague, with whom I share an office, walk in on me speeding over bumps in a big yellow haul truck.
I quit, went to the “Menu Sphere” and had a look for what I hoped would be a more responsible use of office time. What I found was more like what the beginning of that link had eluded to, mineofthefuture. I looked at the gallery, the “about” section, and the video sections, but the two things that the site continually aimed at my attention were the game and the careers section.
At first glance, I didn’t understand it. Why have a site dedicated to the future of mining with a fifth of it consisting of a crude game, the variety of which I could have made back in my undergraduate C++ coding classes. It didn’t make sense to me.
I brought it up with the sender and in doing so I came to my own conclusion as to what the site developer had in mind.
The site is lean, can be entirely navigated in under 10 minutes (including a 7 minute video) but is based around the idea of the mine of the future. The company has ideas of their own, and the video shows that, but it the heavy themes of, future, careers, future, careers all wrapped up in a sleek web design as set to attract those who wish to innovate. I see these people as being fresh in their mining careers, bored, in a stagnant environment, and looking to make a mark on the industry. The game is the vehicle whereby this careers opportunity can be proliferated.
Maybe I’m looking into it too deeply, and seeing motive where a site developer just saw a bit of fun. Either way let us know what you think, but first, in your free time of course, try to knock hugh S off the top spot. Truck Controller.