Empowering children to rapidly author games and animations without writing code

Rahul Banerjee, Jason Yip, Kung Jin Lee, Zoran Popović

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior research has established that long-term interests in programming are often shaped by formative computing experiences, especially those involving programming and graphics. Existing authoring environments for children (ages 9-14) to make 2D games and animations require them to: (a) create programs, (b) customize templates, or (c) combine rewrite rules with programs. One way to support early experiences in computing for a more diverse set of learners is to simplify such authoring systems, by removing text heavy code and minimizing cognitive load, which can allow separation of coding concepts from writing code. In this paper, we describe an exploratory system we are designing to test this idea, called BlockStudio. Using a Programming By Example paradigm, children manipulate colored blocks on the screen to specify desired behavior via concrete changes. Based on these inputs, our system synthesizes generalized rules based on color. We give a brief overview of our current prototype, then share insights gleaned from two intergenerational co-design sessions with children and discuss implications for designers of similar systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IDC 2016 - The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages230-237
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450343138
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2016
Event15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, IDC 2016 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jun 201624 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of IDC 2016 - The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children

Conference

Conference15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, IDC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period21/06/1624/06/16

Keywords

  • Authoring
  • Games
  • Interactive content
  • Programming By Example
  • Rule-based system
  • User interface

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