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"The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer. Day after month after year after story after book."
- Harlan Ellison

Free Play (The Mind Game)  
  A computer simulation that presents an enjoyable game for young people that is also used for psychological evaluation.  

Ender sat on his bed with his desk on his knees. It was private study time, and Ender was doing Free Play. It was a shifting, crazy kind of game in which the school computer kept bringing up new things, building a maze that you could explore. You could go back to events that you liked for a while; if you left one alone too long, it disappeared and something elese took its place.

Sometimes they were funny things. Sometimes exciting ones, and he had to be quick to stay alive. He had lots of deaths, but that was OK, games were like that...

From Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.
Published by Tor in 1985
Additional resources -

The adults that ran Ender's school referred to "Free Play" as "The Mind Game". The intent was to use different scenarios to test the psychological maturity and development of the child using it.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ender's Game
  More Ideas and Technology by Orson Scott Card
  Tech news articles related to Ender's Game
  Tech news articles related to works by Orson Scott Card

Free Play (The Mind Game)-related news articles:
  - CyberTherapy Avatar Will See You Now

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