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Wu's Castle: Teaching Arrays and Loops in a Game

Michael Eagle and Tiffany Barnes from University of North Carolina are devoping games to teach introductory computer science concepts. Wu’s Castle is a two-dimensional role playing game that teaches loops and arrays in an interactive,visual way. In this game, the player interactively programs magical creatures to create armies of snowmen. The game provides immediate feedback and helps students visualize the execution of their code in a safe environment.

Link: http://src.acm.org/Eagle/eagle/eaglesrc.html


  • This is an interesting study! Indeed, engaging students in introductory programming concepts is not straightforward. Literature (but also classroom examples) have shown that novice programmers face difficulties in understanding basic programming structures (loops, arrays, pointers, conditional statements and more); visual models that show how a programming structure operates seem to help a lot. It would be interesting to see if the knowledge gained by the participants in this study can be transferred in another context. 

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