One of the most popular ways of learning or practicing programming is through making video games. The reason for this is that it allows you a way of expression, or choice while learning. It very much so collides with the traditional Computer Science method of learning, packets, packets, packets, do this, do that, do this. Almost any differentiation and you get marked wrong. That’s one of the reasons why I couldn’t stand CS and had to stick with New Media. I want to express myself, I don’t want to be trapped and only learn what others tell me to learn.
Anyways, in NMD 104 we really got into programming. I loved it, i love creating things. You had to both mimic the original game, but with your own methods, because you certainly can’t go get the original creator’s code and use it for your project.
The first larger project we had to do was Frogger, as the picture above depicts. It was hard, for many, but everyone in the class pulled through. You could also expand upon it as much as yo wanted. Whether that means more vehicles, different types of vehicles, or more levels, that was all fine. Programming by nature can be interpreted at the start as a very rigid practice. There’s one way to do things, and that’s it. Though, teaching programming through more of an expressive nature can first show someone there are many different things you can do, and then, through practice, that you can do each in so many different ways.
The second project we did was a house simulation. We had to create a house scene where when people entered the house the lights would turn on, the sun would set, lights turn off, essentially a whole day and night cycle for the house. On top of that it also had to sync up with the actual weather utilizing web scraping methods. Both projects were great, as they allowed us to learn programming but in a way we would be able to express ourselves. For many, that is what turns them off from programming and it’s initial rigid interpretations.