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Low Tech Game Teaches High Tech Concepts

No one would call computer code-writing “child’s play”….yet…but if a young entrepeneur has anything to say, it will be soon. Code Monkey Games, LLC, was founded by designer and developer Raj Sidhu. The company’s first game, Code Monkey Island, teaches children ages 8 and up (and perhaps their parents and grandparents) how to apply real programming concepts used by real programmers

Photo Credit: Code Monkey Games, LLC – used by permission.

In Code Monkey Island, players must get all of their monkeys safely across the “island” by using real programming concepts like conditional statements, loops, Boolean logic and operators, assignment and mathematical operations, and even data structures.

“Learning how to program changed my life, and it’s changing the world around us, too I wanted to take concepts that stumped me in college and present them in a way that anyone of any age could understand.”

Photo Credit: Code Monkey Games, LLC – used by permission.

Computer programming literacy is attracting serious discussion on a global scale as the number of high-paying tech jobs increases worldwide. By 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that of the 1.4 million tech-related jobs created in that year, only 30% could be filled by Americans given the U.S.’ current curriculum.With Code Monkey Island, Sidhu hopes to help kids stay ahead of the curve, both in the classroom and out.

Sidhu’s goal is to help more Americans to secure these tech jobs that will otherwise go to people outside the U.S. “If you grow up with an intuitive understanding of programming, it becomes second nature and vastly easier to secure high paying jobs” explains Sidhu.

Raj Sidhu, creator of Code Monkey Island. Photo Credit: Code Monkey Games, LLC – used by permission.

When I read about Raj’s game, I admit it seemed counter-intuitive to use an “old fashion” board game format to teach high-tech computer skills. Turns out, he had an ulterior motive. “I wanted to give parents and grandparents a way to engage with their children, and have them be part of the process of learning such an important skill. There’s no shortage of apps and games and sites to take up our attention during the day – I wanted to help families come together, and learn through play around their dinner tables.”

 Code Monkey Island isn’t a comprehensive resource. It doesn’t teach kids everything about programming. But what it does do, he says, is get kids excited about complex concepts by interacting and playing with others.

     The Kickstarter fundraising campaign for Code Monkey Island raised over 50% of it’s $15,000 funding goal within 10 hours of its launch.

To learn more about Code Monkey Island, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rajsidhu/code-monkey-island-making-programming-childs-play.

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