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Game Teaches Java Programming

University of California, San Diego, researchers have developed a 3D first-person video game to teach children Java programming. CodeSpells targets elementary- to high school-aged students. In the game, a wizard in a land of gnomes has no spells to help them. The player assists by writing spells in Java and performing quests that teach concepts such as conditional and loop statements. The game was tested with 40 girls, aged 10 to 12, with no programming experience. The researchers said the girls mastered basic Java concepts within an hour of game play. They are making the game freely available by request to any educational institution and are doing further testing in San Diego-area elementary schools. They presented their findings at the recent 2013 SIGCSE Technical Symposium, sponsored by ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. (SlashDot)(Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego)

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