Coding For Kids
CodeSpark Academy Adds New Adventure Game Design Tools
- By Kristal Kuykendall
CodeSpark Academy, a popular learn-to-code app for kids ages 5–10, announced today the launch of “Adventure Game,” a powerful new set of design tools that allows users to use code to create open-ended role-playing games, inspired by classic hit games like “The Legend of Zelda” and “Animal Crossing.”
“Adventure Game furthers our goal of inspiring kids to create with code and express themselves in new ways,” codeSpark co-founder and General Manager Grant Hosford said in a news release. “This easy-to-use creative mode gives parents, teachers, and kids even more of what they love about codeSpark Academy. Kids were emphatic during play testing about how much they love creating open-ended 3D challenges using our Adventure Game templates and tools.
Adventure Game’s creative tools require less hand-eye coordination than other creative modes, the company said, and it includes new options for users such as speech bubbles for every character, enhancing the storytelling element of the game.
“When introducing a challenging subject like coding, it’s important to engage children and give them a fun, personal connection to the material,” said co-founder and Head of Product Joe Shochet. “By allowing kids to create the same kind of popular games they are already playing, we can encourage them to stick with the learning longer by turning game time into learning time. Building early confidence and positive attitudes towards coding will build persistence through their coding education.”
In 2021, kids created 12.6 million games and stories on codeSpark Academy, which is used in more than a third of U.S. school districts, according to the company. CodeSpark Academy uses a word-free interface and engaging gameplay to allow kids to design and program their own video games and interactive stories. The app is available for home use with a subscription or is accessible for free in North America via public schools, libraries, and nonprofits. CodeSpark has won a number of awards in the academic and technology sectors, including a Parents’ Choice Award. Early-education learning company BEGiN acquired codeSpark in April 2021.
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can
be reached at [email protected].