I didn’t think I’d like this game as much as I did, but I did! I know absolutely nothing about coding so the game actually helped me understand the basics. The scaffolding for difficulty is perfect. The first levels introduce you to the game and to coding language. As you move forward throughout the game the user has to enter the codes in manually (there is an option for autocomplete.)
My one qualm with the game is that it also plays into gender stereotypes…It is essentially a fighting game. Your main objective is to destroy the other team. I am not suggesting that the creators of this game create a “girl” version. I think that perpetuates the problem. However, with females making up just 18% of Computer Science majors, something should be done.
This game is incredibly successful in teaching young students (and in my case, adults) the basics of coding but imagine if they could also solve codings greatest problem, getting females on board. MindShift posted a great article on tips to grab girls’ attention this past September. The first solution to the problem, is introducing the game to girls early on in their education. Many researchers say that by the time high school rolls around, girls are just not interested in computer science. So I wonder, is there a gender neutral coding game? Or a coding game that might interest girls more than one about fighting robots.
The article goes on to mention that one of the biggest reason girls stay away from computer science is because on misconceptions they have about the field. It’s not “cool”enough for girls, especially those who feel pressured about maintaining a certain image. I’m going to keep thinkng about this, but I’d love to see a game that changes that.