Playing with Code
With code and computers, we can do things today that our ancestors could never have imagined, like video-calling someone across the country while we’re walking down the street. Even better, code is giving us new forms of fun, from ultra-realistic video games we can play with friends online to entirely new forms of art and music. Ready for some codeplay? Let’s go!
what you’ll need
Ask About Today
Can you show me your name in music or Morse code?
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How to Make a Video Game
A lot of code goes into every video game you play. Let’s start with a simple overview of how video game coding works with this brief video from MIT Explains.
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What If Gaming Was Your Full-Time Job?
Game developers spend their days creating, coding, and testing video games. In this video from Kidspiration, 13-year old gamer Jaydon interviews Craig Allen, whose company Spark Unlimited is behind epic games like Call of Duty.
Finding the Art in Code
A new generation of artists is using coding, robotics, and other technologies to create entirely new forms of art. See how they do it in this video from Great Big Story.
Coding a New Kind of Race
Code made drones possible. And once we had drones, it wasn’t long until we decided to start racing them. In this story from PBS Terra, you’ll meet Drone Racing League Champion Jordan Temkin and get a drone’s eye view of the action.
The Music of Code
What if a flute sounded like a drum? Or a violin got crossed with a tuba? Code is giving us new art forms, new sports, and even new musical instruments. Google’s Nsynth Super is one of them. Let’s check it out.
Try a Musical Cipher
This cool tool transforms the letters of your name (or any words) into music. It’s called a “musical cipher.” This one relies on computer code, but the technique was actually invented hundreds of years ago by famous composers. Just type in the box at the top and click Run to hear the music in your name.
Move in Morse Code
Morse Code uses a simple combination of short “dots” and long “dashes” for each letter and number. For example, the word “Camp” in Morse code would look like this:
C: dash dot dash dot
A: dot dash
M: dash dash
P: dot dash dash dot
For this activity, we’ll be turning our names into Morse code, and then using movement to communicate those codes. Start by figuring out the code for your name using this decoder. Write it on a piece of paper so you don’t forget the code for each letter.
Once you have your name in Morse code, it’s time to move. For every “dot,” squat down on the ground and hug your knees (so you look like a dot!). For every “dash,” stand straight up with your arms stretched out above your head. Take it one letter at a time, then see if you can put it all together for your whole name!