While surfing for something completely different, I ran across MIT’s Scratch program yesterday.
Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.
Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.
It uses a graphical interface to string together common programming scripts. The littletheorist keeps talking about becoming a game designer when she grows up, so this looks like an amazing tool to let her develop some simple games now and learn the logic behind programming. I played around with it for most of last night so that I can help her learn how to use it. I built a simple, graphical eBay fee calculator. I still want to touch it up some, but I’ll post it once it’s done.
The site has thousands of user created programs and animations. An archery shooter is one of the best examples of how good a game can look with Scratch. Anyone who is interested in programming or game design needs to check this out.