GameBender console merges video games with kid-friendly programming

Jay Silver, one of the minds behind the Makey Makey invention kit, is working on a plug-n-play game console called GameBender that introduces children to programming by letting them create and modify games on the fly.

At its most basic level, GameBender allows its players to jump right into a game, and then modify different elements of that existing game mid-play. It’s an approach that aims to let kids learn code while playing, and make the whole process more appealing from the get-go.

The concepts they learn from modifying an existing GameBender game can be used in other games on the platform, or even used to create and share entirely new games using the visual coding language Scratch.

“Coding lessons often fall flat because they don’t start with what’s awesome, and because many children don’t learn well in isolation,” explains the GameBender Kickstarter page. “The GameBender approach doesn’t start with ‘learning to code,’ instead it immerses the children as a group in a truly engaging world, a world in which code is the currency for doing new things.”

Just a few days in, the GameBender Kickstarter has already surpassed its goal. More information on the kid-focused system can be found on its campaign page.