Hopscotch: Getting Kids Into Coding

I was very impressed with this coding game, maybe even more than Hakitzu.  In one of my previous posts, I talked about the issue of “genderfying” coding games.  To me, this game seems much more gender neutral and is more likely to attract a larger number of young students!

For the first hour or so, I just placed random blocks around to see what would happen (a child will probably take a similar approach!)  I created a video (not sure what else to call it…) appropriately titled “Explosion”.  It’s literally a bunch of objects shaking and getting larger.  It was fun but didn’t really help me grasp any knowledge of coding…This is where I think walking through students through a more advanced tutorial would help.  Making an object move is pretty obvious, but making them do something is a little more difficult.

My first “attempt”

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I decided to create a game where the Monkey has to catch a monster.  I had no idea how to do this or where to start.  It helped that I could look at what other users has created.  I definitely took ideas/tips from their games in order to create my own.  The end result was a game that actually worked!  And I’m not going to lie, I am pretty proud of it.  It’s so simple and probably not very exciting for other people, but I made it and that’s pretty cool.  I imagine younger students will also experience this fiero!

My game!

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Areas where I had trouble:

Trying to figure out what happens when the monster collides with the edge…

Trying to end the game…I really wanted “Game Over” to pop up on the screen but I could not figure out how to do that.  I had to settle for a giant monkey taking over the screen.

 

Overall, I really really like this game.  The replay ability is huge!  The only problem I have with the game is that the coding language isn’t quite there like it is with Hakitzu.  But perhaps that language acts as a deterrent for younger audiences.  It seems that most educators believe in the “hook em’ when they’re young” theory.  Introducing students to coding at a younger age means an increased chance that they will develop computer science skills as an adult.

P.S. If anyone wants to play my game, it’s uploaded to Hopscotch (free app) and called “Catch a Monster!” under the name, Molly.

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