I saw that Code Hero is demoing tonight at SF Beta; essentially it looks like they’ve created a game to help you learn how to create games.  Meta, and pretty brilliant if you ask me.  If it works, of course.  It looks like the essentially put you into the world of Unity3D (so I was planning to learn Ruby on Rails…should I be learning this too?  I’ve heard this platform mentioned a number of times now), give you a Javascript-shooting gun, and make you rearrange the world with code to solve puzzles.  I haven’t tried it yet, but anyone have thoughts?

On the bigger picture, the draw of this game is also the core of my draw to the gaming industry overall.  Think about how much we learn when it’s put into a game.  I memorized 150 pokemon, all of their attacks, when they learned them, what they’re type was, how they leveled up, etc.  Imagine if that had been presidents (hell, there are only 44 of those – could I memorize 3 times the facts?) or molecular compounds?  I’ve learned how to navigate bizarre inter-dimensional portals, how best to equip a character for an imaginary world, and yet I still can’t tell you the capital of every state.

And studies continue to get published showing the importance of play in our earliest development; that through play we learn how to navigate both our physical world (this hurts, this doesn’t, this moves, that hits me back) and our social one (I can break that rule, but not that one.  If I give this, I get that).  Why don’t we learn languages through games, or coding, or how to sew?  Or, more accurately, why isn’t this more normalized in educators education?

So in the end, while I will gleefully start making short-lived goofy mobile games or addicting social ones, my real goal will be to make games that teach us something about our surroundings and help us feel better about the time truly well-spent playing.

Advertisements