SAICA: The Job from Hell

If you’re still in school, chances are that you’ve wondered why you should bother with maths. If you’re the parent of said child, chances are you’ve wondered the exact same thing, but told your child that they need maths because it’s important. Unless, of course, you’re a chartered accountant, in which case you’ve told your child that they need maths because they too can become a chartered accountant, and earn loads and loads of money.

At least, that’s the pitch from the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, and if there’s anyone who knows the value of something, it’s these guys.

saica02I, on the other hand, am not a chartered accountant. I’ve failed Accounts 101 three times and took matric maths on standard grade, so believe me when I tell you that I’m a prime candidate for a little “edutainment”. Yes, we’re looking at that wonderful little concept of combining learning with fun; not quite what you’d expect on a website like this, but it is a locally developed product with a positive goal in mind, which we’re all for. And it was either this, or editorial copy pasta, so let’s move on.

If you click on the advertisement to the right of this page or follow this link, you’ll find SAICA’s flash-based game called The Job from Hell. In this game, participants are thrown into the position of a bright-eyed graduate with all the hopes in the world who very quickly discovers the reality of starting from the bottom. Not the type to lose hope, our endearing hero instead puts his/her head down and gets on with some serious mathematics in the hope of working their way up the corporate ladder, and eventually become the big boss. This is where you come in.

The player has access to a number of mathematics minigames that range from those damnable “get 3 litres of water into these two inappropriately-sized jugs” to “my calculator is broken, please help me solve these equations!” When you’ve had enough of that, you get to take a 10-question mini-exam to impress the boss and possibly move up a rank. Complete all four ranks of progressively more challenging exams and you’ll enter into a monthly draw to win R1000. Oh, do I have your attention now?

Look familiar?

The game has attractive visuals but lets itself down a bit when it comes to grammar. I know that it’s aimed at promoting mathematics and accounting, but a little copy-editing never hurt anyone. In terms of the actual content, the questions can be pretty tough (SG maths here, remember that) and should give the lower-end of the target market (grade 8 students) a run for their money. On the upper end, if you’re a student in grade 12, a little time and an exam pad should be enough to see you well on your way to a thousand bucks.