Many students have told me that when they are an adult, they want to design video games for a living. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of ways to start exploring this. Many video game-designing programs are over-complicated and require an extreme amount of practice. But not Scratch.
At a glance, Scratch may show it to be a little kid’s website. But it is anything but that. Anything you want can be created with it’s simple block-by-block programming system, from an entire animated series to a replica of Pac-Man.
Creating games and animations is super simple with Scratch. There are blocks with certain commands written on them. You snap the blocks together, click the green flag in the corner, and watch what you programmed unfold on screen. Scratch was created by Mitch Resnick at the MIT Media Lab as a way to teach kids of all ages to code.
As well as being a programming language, Scratch is also an online community, where the more than 29 million users (called “Scratchers”) can interact with each other, give feedback on projects, collaborate, and remake each other’s projects.
As you learn more about Scratch, you will also learn about Scratch myths and legends (the infamous Scratcher “Kaj”), trends (“Lyrics Taken Literally”) and the endless amount of things you can create!
As of right now, Scratch is not able to run on phones or tablets, but MIT is programming the third version of Scratch in a way that will allow it to run on those devices, and a group of Scratchers are working on a Scratch-like app called Go Everywhere that will run on anything from an iPhone to a DS.
Go onto scratch.mit.edu and give it a try! Doing so may lead you to a successful career as a programmer.
By: Brig Larson
Photo Credit: Scratch MIT