A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 12. Creating Digital Games
In an interview with journalist Robert X. Cringley, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said, “I think everyone in this country should learn to program a computer. Everyone should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think. I think of computer science as a liberal art.” This quote, from the documentary Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (2012), was recorded in 1996, just prior to Jobs’s return to Apple. This book is not about computer programming, but I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss applications to create digital games.
The educational foundation of coding can be traced to Jean Piaget protégé Seymour Papert. He pioneered the learning theory known as constructionism. Similar to constructivism’s tenet of “learn by doing,” the theory of constructionism can be summed up as “learn by making.” Papert’s seminal book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, first published in 1980, details constructionism and the kid-friendly programming language Logo, created by his MIT lab. In the preface to Mindstorms Papert stated, “a modern-day Montessori might propose, if convinced by my story, to create a gear set for children” (1993, p. xx). Programming to Papert was not about the language, but rather the tool set to create a working system.
Expectations for widespread school adoption of the “Logo Turtle,” a small, programmable robot, were promising at the time. I remember using ← 209 | 210 → Logo for Apple II in the early 1980s, but it seemed like a novelty compared to the BASIC language...
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