Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Why is playing important? Well, it’s shown to reduce stress, increase creativity, and provide context for learning and personal growth. Children practice and reinforce skills learned in theory, or within the classroom through active play. But here’s the thing… playing and learning go hand in hand. These two activities are often approached separately, when in fact they are fundamentally intertwined. With that in mind, it’s time we approach educating our children differently. Instead of working to make an existing curriculum “more fun” (which kids can tell you’re doing), we have integrated visual based coding into Super Code Strike as a key component of success and progression within the game design.
Why is learning the basics of coding important? Becoming familiar with the theory behind coding at a young age doesn’t just expand career options down the line; it aids in developing creativity, critical communication and problem-solving skills. In fact, as early as 2014 countries like Australia, Finland, Italy and England were integrating coding into their curriculum for children ages 5 – 16. That’s because coding requires the breakdown of complex ideas to then arrange them in a way that is simple – so that computers can understand. Learning to code requires a child to evaluate the problem from different angles and then develop a logical, step-by-step solution that can be tested to ensure it works. Coding remains a valuable skill as our society continues to evolve alongside technology.
The video above shows the players ability to "Hack" their own exit zone and connect it to a trigger using very simple block based visual coding.
In the early development stage of Super Code Strike, we interviewed kids ranging from ages 6-15 about the games they liked and didn’t like and why. We also asked specific questions about educational games and computer programs to gauge interest and engagement outside of the classroom. Shay (12 years old), provided valuable feedback that has helped to determine how we approach game play and the incentive to learn coding ever since. She said: “Any games that also include coding end up being too focussed on education, and they’re not actually entertaining to play. We can tell when you’re trying to teach us things even if you’re being sneaky about it.” Shay went on to say that Super Code Strike is different and actually really fun, which of course we were thrilled to hear, but it was her initial statement that stuck with us.
There are existing online options for kids that teach coding with an element of creativity, but ultimately the intention is still clearly for the player to learn how to code. So, with Shay’s statement in mind we knew Super Code Strike had to be different. Our primary objective is to create a fun and engaging mobile game, which is why you can actually play Super Code Strike without coding anything. However, the more you learn about coding, the better you become at the game. The incentive to master simple block-based coding is to gain greater control over your robots, your bases and how other players interact with your levels. Players reach a point in game progression that requires custom coding to keep up with others, ideally driving a desire to code that results from engagement with the game.
Learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is critical to personal and professional development, but so is developing a personal sense of creativity and simply enjoying the act of playing alone, and with friends. It’s about time we break down the divide between subjects and approach learning from a new perspective. This is what makes Super Code Strike different from other coding programs. It’s actually just a really fun mobile game that your children will love playing, and they’ll learn how to code along the way.