While browsing Kickstarter, I came across Codemancer — a video game that aims to teach “the magic of code.” I encourage everyone to take a look — I think the author is taking the right approach to STEM edutainment.
Aurora must learn Magic to rescue her Father, but Magic in Aurora’s World works the same way that Programming works in Ours.
In my mind, it’s much more important to be teaching, nay, instilling in kids, the way to think about things logically. Programming is much more than the ability to create the next app. It’s a way of thinking about our increasingly computational world. A programming mindset can help break down complex functions into discrete steps and follow the logic branching of those steps.
“If x is true, then what? What if x is false? Did we consider what happens if y is true instead of x?”
Best practices for programming are instilled in this game as well. For example, it has the ability to “fail fast” with limited repercussions and has the ability to debug your
code spell as it runs.
Codemancer is in a fantasy setting with a female protagonist. This takes any of the environmental fear of programming out of the equation. You don’t need to run console or install emulators, a monospaced font isn’t required, and syntax is abstracted to the runes (spelling and punctuation aren’t an issue, at least at first).
Okay, but I mentioned a book and this is GeekyLibrary. If the Kickstarter Campaign reaches $40,000 (it’s on track to do so), the project creator has pledged to collaborate with an author to create a young adult novel that expands on the universe and include spells that may be useful.
“A good story can move millions to pick up a book, and I think it can move millions more to start programming.”
GeekyLibrary is now a backer of this campaign, but is otherwise unaffiliated.
Do you enjoy hearing about geeky Kickstarter campaigns related to books? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see about making this a regular series.