No matter how many hours your kid puts in on the old Xbox, the odds of them eventually making a living as a professional gamer are slim (to none). The idea that they end up programming video games, on the other hand, isn’t that far fetched. Especially if they learn how to code early, and without even knowing that they’re learning it. And that’s what CodeGamer, a cool new STEM toy, does.
CodeGamer is an experiment kit that teaches kids (10-and-up) the basics of programming simply by virtue of their playing a video game. Which means it could be the first time you’ll not only allow, but encourage, them to play “just 5 more minutes.” Actually, they’ll learn more than just coding; right out of the box they have to assemble the gamepad from the provided electronic components and mini-computer.
Once built, they simply download the iOS or Android app and get busy guiding their character through 15 increasingly difficult game levels; each of which requires solving new Arduino puzzles and writing programs to achieve specific goals. CodeGamer also includes four sensor bots (light, sound, motion, and temperature) that plug into the controller and give the character extra powers to get past obstacles. The more skills that are mastered, the more interactive the game becomes: the controller light ups, plays sounds, and kids can create their own levels and share them with fellow players.
Finally, when they’ve had enough of the video game, they can go back to getting their hands dirty. CodeGamer includes 19 experiments/maker projects (separate from the game) that they can build/program using the aforementioned sensors and all those newly acquired job skills.