Remember Terrarium? It was a .NET 1.0 learning tool disguised as a game. Microsoft released a developer's kit, and and people built herbivores, carnivores, or plants and introduced them into a peer-to-peer, networked ecosystem where they interacted and sometimes competed for survival. There was a visual display element of course. It was kinda like SimCity crossed with a .NET Tutorial, all run on a peer-to-peer network. People had a ton of fun with it; there were competitions and Terrarium events, it really captured the attention of the community.
Well,......... it's back!
A fella by the name of Bill Simser has resurrected Terrarium, put it on CodePlex, and is inviting participation! Terrarium 2.0 demonstrates some of the features of the .NET Framework, including Windows Forms integration with DirectX®; XML Web services; support for peer-to-peer networking; support for multiple programming languages; the capability to update smart client (Windows-based) applications via a remote Web server; and the evidence-based and code access security infrastructure.
Read about it here http://weblogs.asp.net/bsimser/archive/2008/07/16/reintroducing-terrarium-now-with-2-0-goodness.aspx.
If you want to try your hand at producing a critter, Bill's got a Terrarium server up and running already.
This could be a fun, engaging, and collaborative way to introduce .NET programming skills into your company or organization.
On the other hand, if you ever wanted to participate in the construction of a peer-to-peer mesh, contributing to the Terrarium project on Codeplex could be your chance!
[Edit: Just one thing - Terrarium in its current form depends on DirectX 7 (yes, it's THAT old) which Vista does not have. So if you are wanting to install this on Vista, you will need to take special action. ]