Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java, one of the most common programming languages in use today.
The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. They detailed their findings in a paper they presented at the SIGCSE conference in March in Denver. Computer scientists found that within just one hour of play, the girls had mastered some of Java’s basic components and were able to use the language to create new ways of playing with the game.
“CodeSpells is the only video game that completely immerses programming into the game play,” said William Griswold, a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.
The UC San Diego computer scientists plan to release the game for free and make it available to any educational institution that requests it. Researchers are currently conducting further case studies in San Diego elementary schools.
Teaching computer science below the college level is difficult, mainly because it is hard to find qualified instructors for students in elementary to high school, Griswold said. So he and his graduate students set out to find a way to reach these students outside the classroom. They designed the game to keep children engaged while they are coping with the difficulties of programming, which could otherwise be frustrating and discouraging.
Teaching children how to program must be a priority in a society where technology is becoming more and more important, said Sarah Esper, one of the lead graduate students on the development of CodeSpells. Programming also teaches logical thinking, said Stephen Foster, another lead student.
“We’re hoping that they will get as addicted to learning programming as they get addicted to video games,” Foster said.
How CodeSpells works
CodeSpells’ story line is simple: the player is a wizard arriving in a land populated by gnomes. The gnomes used to have magic, but lost it at some point. The wizard must help them. She (or he) writes spells in Java. Players have seven spells available to them, including levitating objects within the game, flying and making fire.
Players can also earn badges by undertaking simple quests, which help them master the game’s spells. One quest entails crossing a river. Another entails rescuing a gnome from the roof of his cottage, where he got stuck. Yet another entails starting a large bonfire. By the time players complete the game’s first level, they have learned the main components of the Java programming language, such as parameters, for if statements, for loops and while loops, among other skills.
The Latest Bing News on:
Using video games to teach
- Study finds video games improve students’ academic resultson January 24, 2021 at 10:20 pm
WITH a teenage son who loves playing video games, Associate Professor Rasheda Khanam admitted she was “shocked” with her latest findings.
- Simple Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Godon January 24, 2021 at 3:51 pm
According to the Pew Research Center’s latest U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, a combined 69 percent of adults attend religious services on a regular basis, and a combined 89 percent of adults believe ...
- Lockdown learning games to keep kids safe on farmson January 24, 2021 at 4:12 am
A SERIES of interactive games have been designed to keep kids safe on farms as lockdown is extended further yet.
- Enable parental controls on any video game platformon January 22, 2021 at 8:48 pm
Enable parental controls on any video game platform Working from home in the face of a global pandemic poses many challenges for almost ...
- TA graces cover of 'R.B.I. Baseball 21' video gameon January 21, 2021 at 8:46 am
Tim Anderson is one of the faces of a changing sport of baseball. Need some proof? Check out the cover of the latest edition of the "R.B.I. Baseball" video game. Anderson’s on it.
- White Sox Star Tim Anderson Graces Cover of ‘R.B.I. Baseball 21' Video Gameon January 21, 2021 at 2:23 am
Tim Anderson is one of the faces of a changing sport of baseball. Need some proof? Check out the cover of the latest edition of the “R.B.I. Baseball” video game. Andersons on it.
- Philly Parks and Recreation teams up with local video game giant for esports programmingon January 21, 2021 at 1:00 am
A Philadelphia video game giant is teaming up with the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department for a unique marriage of their programming that’s all about expanding recreation for kids across the ...
- Juicy Juice Partners with Craft Expert Amber Kemp-Gerstel to Keep Kids Inspired At-Homeon January 19, 2021 at 11:46 am
As we enter a new year, there’s one thing that remains the same, parents will continue looking for ways to keep their kids engaged and inspired at-home. From DIY crafts to games and virtual activities ...
- For The Kid In Your Life, 3 Video Games That Play Like Storybookson January 14, 2021 at 4:49 am
Explore alien worlds, Nordic forests, and European countrysides in these point-and-click games — which may not have been designed specifically for kids, but will definitely keep them entertained.
- Want a fun way to teach your kids about money? Try these gameson January 14, 2021 at 4:40 am
Children learn best while engaged and active, experts say. Here is how gaming can help drive important money lessons home to your kids.
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Using video games to teach
The Latest Bing News on:
Learning through immersive gaming
- What is DirectX and why is it important for gaming?on January 23, 2021 at 11:24 am
What is DirectX and why is it important for gaming? Source: Microsoft DirectX first debuted in 1996 and is the foundation of why Windows ...
- Can Immersive Technology Remake the Workplace Experience?on January 22, 2021 at 6:11 am
As immersive technologies find convergence with 5G and AI, the workplace as we know it is already undergoing changes. Last spring, video game maker Epic Games broadcasted rap artist Travis Scott’s ...
- The best VR games: Enjoy a lifelike gaming experience at homeon January 19, 2021 at 1:59 pm
Discover new advances in home entertainment and boldly explore vast worlds beyond the confines of your physical reality with the best VR games on the market.
- D-BOX Technologies and Audiokinetic join forces to bring the D-BOX immersive gaming experience to Wwise® userson January 14, 2021 at 5:14 am
D-BOX Technologies Inc. (D-BOX) (TSX: DBO), a world leader in haptic and immersive entertainment experiences, joins forces with Audiokinetic, Inc., the leading global provider of cross-platform audio ...
- BP commissions immersive training for Greater Tortue Ahmeyim crewson January 13, 2021 at 8:02 am
Survivex has started work on a four-week training program for BP’s operational personnel on the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim gas-condensate development offshore Mauritania and Senegal.
- Lenovo Makes Immersive Experiences More Personalizedon January 6, 2021 at 4:01 pm
immersive visuals to bring home entertainment to life through an ultra-vivid picture, and more versatile devices with custom gaming accessories to enjoy at home or on-the-go. Each of these new ...
- What the Digitization of Industries Like Casino Gaming Means for Logisticson December 31, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Technology and innovation have a major impact on all industries in Poland, including the logistics, the casino and gaming industry. Industry digitization opens brand new opportunities but also poses ...
- Sayollo and Protected Media partner to protect immersive mobile game advertising from sophisticated fraudon December 29, 2020 at 10:39 am
Sayollo's technology offers advertisers access to one of the ecosystem's fastest growing segments: immersive in-gaming ads ... opposed to traditional Machine Learning based solutions ...
- Cloud, off-the-shelf gaming equipment expands flight training optionson December 23, 2020 at 12:23 pm
The Defense Innovation Unit and Google Cloud have entered into an agreement with the Air Force to modernize pilot training. Through the artificial intelligence-driven Joint Immersive Training System ...
- How to Choose a Great Gaming Headseton December 22, 2020 at 12:21 pm
When you shop through ... gaming computers. Ideally, they’re also wireless (or at least tangle-resistant), comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and capable of providing a more ...