Our private information is all over the internet, whether we realize it or not. And while cyber security is an increasingly important aspect of everyday life, it's not easy to actually understand how it all works. But Codomo, an education technology company based in Singapore, has found a way to soften the blow through a board game that breaks down the inner workings of the internet and cyber security with the help of pirate potatoes (obviously).
In Potato Pirates 2: Enter the Spudnet (which just launched its Kickstarter), you control an individual pirate potato that is connected to other players through shipping routes called the “spudnet” in the “Carbobbean Seas,” which is meant to mimic the internet's connectivity. Your objective is to move your ships around the map to strategically placed warehouses (Google servers, basically) so you can fulfill all your orders at the expense of your enemies. And while that sounds simple on the surface, there's far more to it than that.
In the 30–60 minutes it typically takes to complete the game, three to six players can also form alliances with rivals and launch attacks on the others—all while learning about cyber security topics like malware, how data is transmitted, and DDoS attacks in the process. (To learn more, there’s a rule book online for players to check out as well [PDF].)
With over $76,000 raised, the campaign crushed its original $11,120 Kickstarter goal in just an hour. But you can still back Potato Pirates 2: Enter the Spudnet until February 16. “Regular Spud” backers that pledge $52 will receive a copy of the board game, with the more expensive options offering greater rewards—like extra board games and adorable plush keychains.
According to the campaign, this game is great for ages 10 and up and will teach players “networking and cyber security concepts, all without computers!”
This isn’t the award-winning company’s first time mixing potatoes and pirates to teach people about computers and the web. You can check out the original version of Potato Pirates, which focuses on coding, on Amazon, where it’s available for $15.
No matter how much you know about computers, this board game is a fun way to learn about a tool that has such a large impact on our day-to-day lives. You can head here to find out more about the Kickstarter.
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