Don’t Let Your Kid Just Play A Game; Let Them Make A Game

If you ever watch Shaolin Soccer movies, the main character has been treated like dirt in all his life. Still, he’s never given up believing that all the world’s problems could be solved with a little kung fu. So he’s teaming up with a band of misfits — six friends who were kung fu masters in their youth — to form a soccer team that only he believes has a chance to win a $1 million grand prize. Together, they’re going to apply their hidden talents to a whole new game — and soccer will never be the same.

I have the similar thought about coding. Kids this era are called digital natives. They know how to operate an iPad since early days of their lives. Digital world is keep growing and will be found in various more aspect of human’s live. Take for example: television. Understanding how to code even the simplest one would be benefit for human especially in the future since they will interact more with technologies and digital world. Coding (programming) doesn’t limit to some geek or computer expert only, even using macro such as excel that is considered as simple coding would be beneficial to people within management organisation to help their work more efficient.

Start With Passion

Learn how to code or programming would be fun if you start from something that interest you. In my early days, the reason why I choose Information Technology major at college was due to my curiosity of how a computer can display something on its screen.

Somebody who is interested in medical or healthcare field may learn Python or Matlab when working on Predictive Analytics in healthcare such as How to Improve Patient Outcomes for Chronic Diseases and Comorbidities.

Start with your own passion is important.

A second and similarly simple way to build your personal brand is to work on projects that interest you. Especially if you are still gathering experience, build projects that excite you, that you personally find useful, or that you think other people could use. Your passion for your project will come through when you speak about it and people will associate your work with that enthusiasm. Once you get more experience, you can fine-tune the details of your brand. — Udacity Freelancer Toolkit and Roadmap

Kids love games. Lot of stories about computer wizards from old school era (that is around 80s to 90s era) learn programming since their early years due to their curiosity of computer games. So teaching kids to develop their own games would be good to introduce them to computer programming.

Schools are already started to introduce computer programming as well since early years now. There are many ways to introduce kids to computer programming especially to create games, one of them is through MIT program website called Scratch. Kids will be introduced to algorithm, that is — the logic behind computer program.

But if your kids already grown up and ready to take more serious computer programming especially in games development then learning Unity is the best option. There are lot of sources to learn Unity. Here’s video from one of Unity course that I considered good. You can access the course from Udemy link (the original price is $190, but if you check again after sometimes they will sale it for only $10!!). Learning Unity also good for future platform such as VR (Virtual Reality).

I am not suggesting kids to learn computer programming to spend most of their time sitting in front of computer. No. In fact, I have seen computer people style are moving from ‘geek’ who tend to be anti-social to trendy people who love interact with other people. Although computer programming tend to be poisoning — I remembered sitting in my dark room for days just to learn stuff like Linux, C, etc during my college era — as a parents you can always remind children to take activities outside. Let them spend more time to socialize with other kids, or enjoying the nature. At the very least, spending time in front of computer to learn how to develop games is much better for them than only spending time watching youtube, or playing games itself, right?

Learn how to code — philosophically — is similar to learn how to write. In the future, it will be one of important skill to have. Human who can write a code, will be using the same skill to interact with the digital world.

Because like it or not, believe it or not, fact or myth, all-things-digital era is already coming.

As Stephen Chow said in Shaolin Soccer: all the world’s problems could be solved with a little kung fu. In this case, I believe that in the future (not so long from now), most of the world’s problems could be solved with a little coding / programming skills.