Games have long been used in class to engage and enthuse learners, from bingo to the latest TV game show format to the use of the latest gaming consoles to provide interesting contexts for learning, including descriptive writing, databases and problem solving. Kodu goes a step further and allows learners to become creators of their own games on XBox or PC’s.
Kodu is a free downloadable visual programming language that “is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.” The programmes can be created on the Xbox or PC using either a game controller or keyboard/mouse actions. Learners can create a range of terrains, worlds and characters, controlling the characters’ movement, sound and vision using intuitive icon-based language that is suitable from KS2 upwards.
There is a wealth of resources to support the use of Kodu for learning -check out how to get started when creating a basic game on our YouTube channel innovid. Once you enter the world of Kodu, there are games to play on pre-prepared worlds and easy to follow tutorials to take you through the features of Kodu. Check out the user forum here and the Microsoft Research information here.
Application name – Kodu
Free access at – http://fuse.microsoft.com/project/kodu.aspx
Requirements – You will need a graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 2.0 or higher