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Can games teach programming?

4 years ago

1 expert and 1 parent have answered

Tom Baker writer
Tom Baker Staff Writer Derby, UK

It’s a little bit Inception – programming within programming! – but it also works: there’s a growing number of fun video games that actually help teach everything from basic coding to the more complex Python.

There’s a whole host of old ‘games’ that would teach you how to do some basic programming by dressing it up in, well, Robot Wars. Today things are a little more sophisticated.

For starters, Code Hero helps teach game programming… within a game. It’s a first-person shooter with a twist, because you actually wield a ‘code ray’ to ‘execute code and edit the world’. The idea is that from there players graduate to making their own games using Unity and Java.

Ah yes, Java… where Ceebot helps teach some of the most popular, and user-friendly, coding languages (including #C and C++), it is starting to show its age. Its natural descendant is CodeSpells, with graphics not unlike Little Big Planet, where you cast magic through writing Java code. It’s already got 10-to-12-year-old girls with no prior interest in programming spellbound (sorry).

What about the more difficult-to-learn languages? Are they as easy to shoe-horn into games? Well… sort of. Ruby Warrior teaches Ruby in the form of an old school text adventure. Game mySQLadventure isn’t the most exciting-looking MMO, but my favourite of these more difficult games is browser-based Python Quest – as one fan puts it, it’s a lot like Myst! With more real-world applications, and no strategy guides.

Have your kids played any of these games (or similar)? Do they find them useful?

2 Reply ( 2 ) Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
expert answer
Jill Thompson expert
Jill Thompson Education consultant US
Education expert

Yes, I love Tynker to help teach students coding and programming. They can then make their own games. Take a look at my blog post about it.

0 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago

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