My oldest daughter (age 13) just “independently” invented Croquet. Or more specifically, she’s reinvented the underlying computation model called TeaTime. She’s been playing a computer game called “Sims”, in which a single player can create a simulated world, populated with characters that she has configured. These character interact with each other based on their “personalities.”
The version of Sims she uses is not collaborative: each game is independent of anyone else playing the game. But my daughter has a friend (born within a few hours of her, from two parents that lived in the same dorm as my wife and I). Her friend also has Sims, and being 13 year old girls, they play their own games while they talk on the phone with each other. “Let’s make a character called ‘Howard.” Let’s have him do such-and-such. Let’s do this. Let’s do that.“
They’re each using the telephone to coordinate the ”commands” to their respective simulations. Then the games play, producing the same results, even though the game isn’t designed to be networked. That’s exactly how Croquet works.
Now, there are other issues in the Sims, and these girls are as interested in the differences as in keeping things in synch. Pretty cool.