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'Minecraft' game-making tutorial teaches kids how to code

The 'Minecraft' Hour of Code Designer lets novices create their own experiences.
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Microsoft knows that Minecraft can get kids into programming, and it's banking on that strategy again this year. It just teamed up with Code.org to introduce the Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, a tutorial that teaches young newcomers (6 years old and up) how to create a simple game. The Designer uses a drag-and-drop interface to illustrate familiar code concepts, such as object-oriented programming and loops, while letting imaginations run wild in Minecraft's blocky universe. You can make chickens that drop gold, and otherwise set rules that are as logical or ludicrous as you'd like.

The tutorial is available right now in 10 languages, and it'll be available in 50 languages by the time Computer Science Education Week kicks off on December 5th. This won't be the same as picking up a programming language, of course. However, Microsoft and Code.org are betting that this will reveal the importance of code to kids, and start some of them on a path to computer science careers.

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