A downloadable babygame for Windows
This game creates an interactive audio-visual experience for babies to play with the mouse and keyboard while baby-proofing the Windows desktop from the potential harm that could come from a child wreaking havoc on the keyboard and mouse.
The goal of the game is visual and aural stimulation. The more the child interacts with the keyboard and mouse the more they are rewarded with recognizable shapes, patterns, colors, motion, and various sounds. This encourages children to interact with the keyboard and mouse and develop their own relationship with the computer at their own pace.
Baby-proofing Windows while the game is running effectively disables all built-in keyboard shortcuts that can typically be used to close or minimize an active program. With Newbie Time your child can basically smash on the keyboard and mouse as much as they want, however they want, without the risk of accidentally landing on the desktop and becoming the Godzilla of 'Icon-City'.
Each keyboard button alternates between producing two different glyphs. The mouse buttons and mouse wheel will cycle through all 128 different possible glyphs. Moving the mouse shifts a color-changing background pattern and dictates where glyphs will spawn when buttons are pressed. The mouse position itself leaves behind an expanding colorful ribbon that resembles the fluidity of smoke as the mouse is moved around.
Each time a glyph is spawned the occurrence is accompanied by various sounds, which play in stereo and pan along with their position onscreen as they bounce around. The mouse position also emits a looping sound that grows louder with more rigorous motion and gradually quiets when the mouse stops moving.
This was originally an idea I had when my oldest daughter, Raquel, was two years old. Being the busy and preoccupied person that I am, I didn't get around to it until our second child was six months old. It was then that I decided to get down to it.
This sort of software cannot be emulated from a browser or other sandboxed means, because there is no way to disable all of the OS shortcut keys to prevent escaping to the desktop. Running a program with administrator privileges is the only way to properly baby-proof a machine.
I have some ideas about a Newbie Time 2.0, something more along the lines of the old DOS classic "Thinking Things".
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