[Edu-sig] Don't kids program anymore?

Michael Tobis mtobis at gmail.com
Sun Apr 30 21:26:48 CEST 2006


There is a profound relationship between gaming and education, one
which is not primarily about sounds and graphics, but about goals,
rewards, and sequencing.

A very simple example of what I mean is at pythonchallenge.com . There
is some effort not to expose the nth problem to you until you have
demonstrated mastery of problem n-1.

The experience is then of the next problem being the REWARD for
solving the previous problem, with mastery as a side effect.

Most kids, most humans in general, will voluntarily spend many hours
in such environments. The game industry proves this. That the graphics
are amusing is secondary to the design of interesting vs dull games.
What keeps games interesting is that they stay near the optimum flow
point between triviality and frustration. This impulse can and should
be channelled toward useful skills.

mt


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