|My favorite dreidel and quintessential Israeli memento, this tiny top bears not a shin, but a pey, reading "A great miracle happened here."|
In celebration, Jews typically play dreidel on Hanukkah. We take a dreidel (a four-sided top), and spin it, gambling gelt (chocolate coins). One of my favorite winter memories here on campus was playing dreidel with a group of students with diverse religious backgrounds, using both gelt and candy canes (associated with Christmas).
|Hanukkah and Christmas 2010|
This year, to study for my computer science final, I decided to code up a game of dreidel. There aren't any graphics, and the interface isn't much, but the game logic works really well. Plus, you can add or remove players mid-game (I was studying, after all; I had to include dynamic arrays) as your friends drop by to see what you're doing.
|Maybe I'll put in some cheat-codes. "Sov, sov sov"?|
Much like the text-based adventure games of the 1980s, my program takes in the commands "add" and "spin" to welcome players and give the dreidel a whirl. Dreidel has some hidden rules you might not think about until you code it, like watching out for an empty pot or splitting an odd number of gelt in half. The program works though, although, when I show it off to friends, it does like to eliminate me first.
Happy Hanukkah, everyone! Candle-lighting times are featured this week in the Peacelight holiday header.