BOB HIRSHON (host):
21st century computer wizards. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
(SFX: CodeSpells video game sounds)
Can 10-year-olds learn to program computers? University of California, San Diego graduate students Sarah Esper and Stephen Foster think so. They’ve designed an immersive 3-D video game called CodeSpells. In it, players become wizards who cast spells in the form of computer code to vanquish monsters.
SARAH ESPER (UCSD):
And so you’re set into this 3-D and our job is to read, write, modify and cast spells, or Java programs. We do provide snippets of code in a spellbook.
So far, the game has been a hit with 4th graders at a local elementary school. She says the video game format keeps students hooked, as they learn college-level programming skills with minimal instruction. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.