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Techfest: Boku for Hacker Tots

Boku is a simple, graphical programming environment for kids. It’s built on Xbox 360′s XNA platform. It was debuted today at Techfest (see a list of all of the Techfest demos). From the Techfest site:

Boku uses a novel, high-level programming paradigm within a 3-D gaming world on the Xbox 360® to introduce children to creative use of the computer. Boku’s programming model is extremely simple as it does not use a textual language or wiring diagrams. Kids use simple behavior cards to enable a small virtual robot to navigate its world and achieve specific tasks. The goal is to provide a gentle introduction to some of the foundational elements of creative programming to children who may not yet be ready for the complexity of classical computer languages. The user is exposed to behavior arbitration, generality, representation of an abstract state, real-time experimentation and feedback, simulation, sensors, physics, and message passing. The programming environment is integrated in an attractive gaming world and controlled entirely via an Xbox 360 game controller.

Before it was shown at Techfest, creator Matt MacLaurin gave a preview at Ignite where he discussed his motivations and inspirations. Boku will also be at ETech 2007.

This video and others from Ignite Seattle are available on Blip.tv and were recorded by Bryan Zug. I’ll be posting select videos from Ignite periodically. During the second Ignite we had an issue with sound, sorry for the buzz.

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  • George Reece

    What children’s age group was this set up for? What is the cost?

  • http://radar.oreilly.com/brady brady

    i think that the ages are for 3-6, but i am sure that older kids can still have fun.

  • http://www.musanim.com Stephen Malinowski

    This is really great! Too bad about the audio. If you want to fix it, I’ve posted a cleaned-up version here: http://www.musanim.com/mp3/mattmac.wav

  • Jeff Abell

    Way Way cool.. Can’t wait till it is available..

  • Tim

    This is a lot slicker than LOGO on the Apple ][e. Kids these days are spoiled. :p