Mario teaches typing, Codemancer teaches…coding

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Educational fantasy-themed game

Robert Lockhart’s Kickstarter for his coding literacy game, Codemancer, has already passed the half-way mark in only two days. With 28 days and roughly $5,400 to go, children may soon be able to enter into a world of coding under the guise of a fantasy story.

Sure, there are other code-based games and apps available, but Codemancer hopes to differentiate itself with a unique game-first approach, masking itself as a fantasy game. Its story takes influence from popular children’s and young adult novels such as Harry PotterMistborn, and The Golden Compass, and, according to the Kickstarter page, the coding manifests itself in the form of runic spells. A more educational Hack ‘n Slash, if you will:

codemancer_spells

It’s a tricky path to tread, educational games are often viewed as attempts at indoctrination or licensed throw-aways, so labeling Codemancer as an educational game may be an easy way to lose audience and interest. That said, done correctly educational games are still an important way to stimulate an interest in certain life skills. With the prevalence of electronics and our increasing dependence upon computer code-based items, a game like Codemancer could do wonders in helping anybody, learn an equally important language in modern times.

Codemancer creator Lockhart argues his point perfectly for the place of computer science games in the classroom when he says in his Kickstarter video pitch, “I believe that programming is a form of literacy that everybody should be exposed to.”

It will be interesting to follow the progress of Codemancer, it’s quite likely to be funded and raises the question of the types of educational games available today in schools, particularly with the rising role of computer sciences in lower grade levels.

Lockhart plans on releasing Codemancer regardless of whether it reaches its funding goal on Kickstarter.

The final game is destined for PC, Mac, iPad, and Android tablets.


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