Board Game Teaches Kids How to Program

When I was a kid, I had an Atari 800 computer. Remember those? I had a game on tape (I did not have a disk drive) that taught me how to type. It was like missile command, except that I had to type the right character in order to blow up the incoming missile. Fast-forward 20 years or so, and along comes a game that teaches you how to program. Dang, why couldn’t I be a kid today?

The game, called c-jump, was written by computer programmer Igor Kholodov, who was looking for something to help him teach his son programming. c-jump is actually a board game, with dice and little plastic pieces (retro – I like that), with the standard first-person-to-the-end-wins paradigm. The difference is that at each turn, players need to use math to decide which route will be fastest to the finish line, but they need to use basic programming language such as “if (x==1)”.

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