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ERIC Number: EJ1100959
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1962
Playing by Programming: Making Gameplay a Programming Activity
Weintrop, David; Wilensky, Uri
Educational Technology, v56 n3 p36-41 May-Jun 2016
Video games are an oft-cited reason for young learners getting interested in programming and computer science. As such, many learning opportunities build on this interest by having kids program their own video games. This approach, while sometimes successful, has its drawbacks stemming from the fact that the challenge of programming and game building are left distinct from the gameplay experience that initially drew learners in. An alternate strategy to engage learners in programming that builds on their interest and enjoyment of video games is to integrate programming into the gameplay experience directly through the design of "program-to-play" games. These games make programming a central part of the activity of playing the game, fully immersing programming within the game context. In this article, the authors develop the genre of program-to-play games, discuss key features of these environments and their pedagogical potential, and highlight some exemplar program-to-play games.
Educational Technology Publications. 700 Palisade Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-0564. Tel: 800-952-2665; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A