In addition to mainstream games and indy games, like the games designed by girls, a number of designing tools, including new ways to learn programming are in production. Many are aimed at interesting atypical programmers. Projects like Mary Flanagan’s Rapunsel Project, which aims to build a software environment to teach programming concepts to kids. Similarly, Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project aims “to provide the best possible first exposure to programming for students ranging from middle schoolers to college students.” Alice seems to be doing quite well, especially with one textbook already out and another set to come out later this year.
Loads of other projects (including earlier versions of Alice) have been around for years, like Logo and Carnegie Mellon has a host of older and newer projects that can be used in teaching and in learning about games. Games that teach and games that inspire learning beg for additional building tools and games that allow others to then build more games and these are just a few of the projects that help create building blocks for educational games.
Plasma Pong is a completely tripped-out version of regular Pong that incorporates fluid dynamics. In addition to deflecting the ball with your paddle, you can now use jets and vortices of fluid pressure to help guide the ball. And all of this is rendered in a super-colorful “plasma” style. If you love the visual style of games like Geometry Wars, Mutant Storm, and Darwinia, then you need to check this one out. Click here to download Plasma Pong, free for Windows PCs.
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Alternative Games is an independent webzine focused on all forms of unorthodox gaming, eccentric game culture, and problematic play.
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