CODE HERO: A GAME TO DESIGN GAMES
When we say First person-shooter game, most of us get a mental image of shooting soldiers or monsters in a realistic or surreal space. We like these games but how many of us know how to create one?
Now many may say that game designing is a completely different field than game playing. Well the game ‘Code Hero’ begs to differ. Created in Primer Labs, it is a game that teaches one how to program computers, and make games. No no no – Don’t mistake it for another boring educational game. In fact it’s just the opposite – It’s a game with a lesson embedded in it. That is what makes this game awesome. Within the gameplay one has to run around with a special gun which allows to copy and paste coding from the virtual environment, which can be used to manipulate, build or destroy structures – thus customizing the reality of the game. Thus one can build an ideal game (and create an army of coders to ultimately defeat Null, the evil artificial intelligence that is threatening to conquer humanity).
So while Code Hero offers a juicy treat for gamers, it allows techies to copy the code they like in a Java editor and use it in their own environment.
So what if you are new to programming? This may seem too technical where words like ‘coding’, ‘Java’ ’emulation’ seem like jargon and overwhelming (ok I admit it, the last word is nothing to with this game. I just put it there to scare you). As the comedian Russell Peter says, ‘No problam Budddy‘. Code Hero welcomes beginners as it is a new type of learning; players start out using powerful code without needing to understand it, then slowly master that code to conquer specific challenges. It’s a game you can play without programming experience where learning happens naturally and the moment when start coding is the beginning of a new world of possibilities.
This is a part of a new paradigm in empowerment. Alex Peake and his colleagues at Primer Labs want to change the way in which people educate themselves. They believed interactive media such as video games are the best way to engage people as it allows them to control the pace of their learning, and direct the lesson to that information which most interests them.
One can pick up some interesting ideas from Code Hero, he or she can close that window on their desktop, open up a Java editor and start to try things on their own unaided.
Furthermore, Peake intends for there to be a parallel version of the game in the real world catered to just this type of exploration. “Actualia” is the flip side of Codia – a collection of Code Hero gamers and enthusiasts who gather to discuss, enjoy, and educate their peers on programming. Think hacker space meets game forum. Actualia will allow gamers to meet face to face, turning the education of Code Hero into an avenue to social learning and community that has long defined the best universities.
Can learning programming get more awesome than this?
Watch this video to get the feel of the game
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