Enhancing Introductory Programming with Game Technology

The goal of this project was to make computer science more engaging for introductory programming students through the use of computer game technology. We deployed a set of assignments based on a Virtual Pets game, where the students could exercise their creativity by programming different scenes and pet behaviors.

The introductory course teaches basic programming concepts such as control flow and arrays using Java; the assignments we gave were analogous in difficulty to more traditional assignments, but used a more compelling and interactive computer game world. This work was done with Jim Whitehead and Charlie McDowell at UC Santa Cruz.

Publications

Gillian Smith, Jim Whitehead, Charlie McDowell. Using Game Technology in an Introductory Programming Course. Poster at IGDA Education Special Interest Group. GDC 2008, San Francisco, CA. March 2008. (more…)Read More...

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