Meldrum Academy, Aberdeenshire

| April 21, 2008 | 1 Comment 

Back to Meldrum Academy again today, this time to work with staff from local secondary schools and some S2 pupils. Great fun!

I was asked for suggestions of other games that might act as a stimulus in different contexts. Here are some comments from “Stal_king Ven_us” on Ikariam. I agree whole heartedly. But my communities are a bit “wobbly” so far!


“This is currently my favourite work diversion. It’s a free web based game that allows you to start and expand a civilization. The cool thing about it is that you can login, set something in motion (e.g. upgrade the town hall) and then log off again.

The game keeps going while you’re away, so that you can leave it for a few hours, days or even weeks, and when you log back in again, your town hall is built, your citizens are happily collecting wood, making wine from the grapes they’ve collected and having a drink in the tavern when they finish work.

ResearchOne of the most important things to do in the game is to establish a research centre, where your citizens can find out about the many different skills, trades and abilities that are available in the game.

Research can follow a number of different paths. You can choose to focus on your military, which will enable you to protect yourself from would-be attackers; or maybe you want to focus your attention on the sciences, allowing you access to new items such as paper and ink, which will allow you to form better trade agreements, and so on.

What makes this game so enticing, is that while there is a huge amount you can do with it (some features taking over a year to establish), it’s actually very simple to play. Most of it’s pretty intuitive. If there’s something you aren’t too sure of, there’s also extensive help documentation.

Views There are three main views to the Ikariam world. These allow you to switch your console display so you can work with different items:

  • Town view – This allows you to work with your buildings, citizens, research, troops and so on. You’ll spend most of your time in the town view at first.
  • Island view – This allows you to see the other people on your island. You can make trade agreements with them, attack and loot their towns, send spies out to see what they are doing and more.
  • World view – The Ikariam world is comprised of many islands, and each island has several towns that are run by people all over the ‘real’ world. Each island has a primary resource, such as crystal, sulphur, marble and so on. These resources are limited, so you have to build your town up to a point where you can trade with other islands for the resources you are short of.


You also have access to various advisers, who will let you know how you are doing in a particular area. The towns adviser lets you know what is happening with your town, such as what buildings have recently been built, research completed, etc.

  • The Military adviser will tell of your battles, showing their outcome, strength of enemy and resources looted. You can also jump from here to examine your troops or hire more soldiers from the barracks (if you’ve built it).
  • The Research adviser tells you what you’re currently building in your research centre, as well as the dates and times of all previously researched subjects.
  • The Diplomacy advisor lets you communicate with other players and their islands, as well as establish trade agreements and alliances.

All in all, it’s pretty high retun for very little time and effort… And it’s free! Go play!”

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (1)

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  1. Phil Littler says:

    Thanks for a lovely two hours. It was very inspiring. I can’t see how to apply it to Business Education and ICT at the moment but it’s early days! I have however approached our English faculty only to find that one of their team attended the Monday morning session. Oh well, I have given some feedback to them and hopefully they’ll look into your approach further. Thanks again, Phil

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