Josh Jones over at the DreamHost Blog has proposed a (tongue-in-cheek) alternative to the OLPC project: One Nintendo DS Per Child.
It’s cheap. ($129… and I’m sure if you order 150 million Nintendo will cut you a deal.)
It’s power-efficient. (Easily lasts 14 hours on a single charge, even with the screen bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight.. there’s even a hand-crank charger!)
It’s a computer. (All advantages to be gained by giving a young child a laptop are also gained by giving a child a DS. Just by using a DS they’ll become confident and “fluent” in the use of technology, and future “real” computer use will come much much easier. Worked for me!)
The list of benefits goes on and on. Okay, so it would basically mean sending electronic toys to millions of kids in developing nations. But is OLPC really that much better, considering that it’s not the device that matters but how it’s used? I personally spent most of my time on my first computer playing Gorf and text adventure games, but that led me to write games and other software myself.
What would you Geekdads propose, either in seriousness or in fun? Lego Mindstorms kits? One OAV Per Child? EZ-Bake Telecommunications Network?