Coding games, both computer-based and “unplugged” ones, have been increasingly used over the past years to promote code literacy and to bring basic programming concepts to the larger public, in particular to children in pre-school, elementary, and middle school ages. Chatbots on instant messaging (IM) platforms provide a modern and friction-free interface that allow software developers to instantly connect with a wide audience, making use of familiar conversational interface patterns. “Code Hunting Games” is a chatbot-based multiplayer game, which engages multiple teams in a “treasure hunt” guided by a Telegram bot. On their track to the treasure, teams are challenged with a sequence of coding puzzles that must be solved using the conversational interface. At the same time, teams must move through physical space in order to reach geographical locations marked by a code, as indicated by the bot. In this paper we present the implementation of the game and describe several large-scale deployments, including one Europe-wide game session during CodeWeek 2017 with more than 160 competing teams. The system is freely available online for custom game sessions. We discuss the game's impact, in terms of engagement for children in particular, lessons learned during development and deployment, and future work.

X Marks the Bot: Online coding-based treasure hunt games for code literacy

Cuno Lorenz Klopfenstein
;
Saverio Delpriori;Alessandro Bogliolo
2018-01-01

Abstract

Coding games, both computer-based and “unplugged” ones, have been increasingly used over the past years to promote code literacy and to bring basic programming concepts to the larger public, in particular to children in pre-school, elementary, and middle school ages. Chatbots on instant messaging (IM) platforms provide a modern and friction-free interface that allow software developers to instantly connect with a wide audience, making use of familiar conversational interface patterns. “Code Hunting Games” is a chatbot-based multiplayer game, which engages multiple teams in a “treasure hunt” guided by a Telegram bot. On their track to the treasure, teams are challenged with a sequence of coding puzzles that must be solved using the conversational interface. At the same time, teams must move through physical space in order to reach geographical locations marked by a code, as indicated by the bot. In this paper we present the implementation of the game and describe several large-scale deployments, including one Europe-wide game session during CodeWeek 2017 with more than 160 competing teams. The system is freely available online for custom game sessions. We discuss the game's impact, in terms of engagement for children in particular, lessons learned during development and deployment, and future work.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2657608
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