Pip is a Raspberry Pi-powered games device for coding kids

The idea that children can make their own games rather than just playing other people’s (or watching other people play other people’s games on YouTube) is a good one. The latest thing hoping to inspire junior game-makers is called Pip.

It’s a handheld games device powered by the Raspberry Pi computer — complete with Nintendo Switch-style detachable controllers — but it wants its young owners to “tinker with technology” by building their own games and apps, and using it to control other gadgets too.

“From Snake to Pac-Man or even Minecraft. You can code games from scratch, or play with the selection of games and apps bundled with Pip — or download more from our online arcade,” explains its campaign page on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, where Pip’s creators are trying to raise £30,000.

“Playing games on Pip is fun, but Pip gives you the ability to change them and make them your own. From making LEDs flash and adding your own photos to games, to even turning a banana into a fire button…”

Pip comes with its own programming tools called Curiosity, but it’ll also help children get up and running with languages like JavaScript, Python and HTML/CSS — so it could create some budding web designers as well as games developers.

Pip’s developers want to create a community of coding kids. Theirs is called Spaceport, and will let children “browse, download, remix and feedback on other people’s projects” — it sounds a lot like online coding tool Scratch in that respect.

Pip should be shipping by August 2018 if the crowdfunding goes well. At the moment, you can pledge £150 for an early-bird version of Pip, although once those sell out, it’ll cost £175.

As usual on Kickstarter, there are options to pay more: £200 gets extra camera and ‘maker’ packs to increase its capabilities; £1,000 will get you a handmade Pip with your name or personal message moulded in; and £5,000 gets five Pips and a workshop from its developer on how to use it.

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