Friday, August 08, 2008


So I'm driving around Pork Smith, in the blistering heat, with gas at its new low price of $3.53/gallon, and I make a two mile detour to go by the office (we're in the brief hiatus between Summer II and Fall semester now) and get the kid the copy of Howl's Moving Castle she wants to watch, which I have left at school (I show it in my WLIT II class).

"Crap," I say, having to dodge construction by the university and some idiots who are skateboarding on totally the wrong side of the road.  "I hope you appreciate what I am going through to get this movie for you, kid."

Nothing from the back seat.

"Hey," I say. "HEY!  I SAID, I hope you appreciate what I'm going through to get this movie for you!"

"What movie?" she mutters.

"Oh, fine," I say.  "This movie you've forgotten about, apparently.  Let's just go home."

"No! No! I remember!  I was just distracted thinking about Visual Basic!"

Well, okay then.

Here's the thing: the kid wants to learn how to write computer games.  You might have noticed, reading this blog, that I am just slightly computer impaired. (All right: I can turn them on and off, and I know to reboot if, after having turned them on, they start acting funny.  That is very nearly the extent of my computer skilzs.)  So when she came to me yesterday and started talking about this computer game she wanted to write and how hard was it, exactly, to learn to write games, I was wholly and completely out of my depth.

We went to all the various libraries in Pork Smith today and found them, as you might expect, nearly useless.  The University library had some books (on Visual Basic, yes), but these are aimed at college freshmen, and while she does, technically, read on that level, yikes, I was hoping for something a little more, um, something aimed at a 10 year old?  

So here's my question for anyone who might know: what book or resource should I be looking for?  She's ten, she's clever, she hasn't had all that much math yet, one of her parents knows a tiny bit about computers (he did tech support) the other is a total idiot, we need a kind of an introduction the writing code for games, or an idea to what we might look at if she wants to learn to write code for games -- see?  I don't even know how to form this question.



tonkelu said...

There are several books "Complete Idiot's Guide To" and "Visual Basic for Dummies" on Amazon.

Sorry that this is about as helpful as I can be...I'm kind of like you when it comes to computers.

Anonymous said...

Hope this helps:

zelda1 said...

Oh, I'm so happy that the kid is getting into the game thing. I have not met one game kid who was not a genius. We bought a book for our grandson about games and it was aimed at kids. It was the ins and outs of the games. I'll find out the name of it. A computer geek from graduate school turned me onto it. Also, for your information, there's a guy by the name of Gee, I think that is right, and he does all this scholarship on gaming. You might want to read some of his stuff, for your own reference. The game thing is all new to the academic world and papers and books are being published by the shitloads. Look him up. I think it's Gee, or Gea or something.

delagar said...

Tonks -- I should have thought of the Idiots guides! I'm an idiot!

Karenne -- TNX for that link. The kid is loving it! Cartoons! Are you in the NE yet?