On the fourth day of the Fairfax Computer camp the campers were busy building, refining, and testing the games that they were creating with Kodu. Almost all of the kids tried some of the sample games and started tinkering with them by changing the rules, the programming, the worlds. When I was in architecture school, one of my professors said to me that as a designer, you don’t want to borrow ideas, you want to steal them: when you steal an idea, you make it yours. These kids were making the games theirs by adding their own unique characteristics and perspectives to them. It’s sometimes hard to start with a blank slate and that’s where Kodu is great – you can start with a completed game or parts of one and them make it yours.
The second half of the day most of the kids spent trying out each others games. I told them that testing was one of the most important part of building software and they needed to do it as well. What I loved here was that as their friends tested their games, the campers saw things that they need to change and immediately fixed and refined their games. It was a great feedback loop. I also noticed that as the day progresses, the kids had fewer and fewer questions – they are becoming adept at programming with Kodu!