Synopses & Reviews
What does the 13,000-year-old mancala game have in common with today's Minecraft
? They both require logic, critical thinking skills, and creativity! In Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure
, readers discover that the video games they play today have their roots in the games kids played in the deserts of Ancient Egypt, and theyand#8217;ll learn how to design their own games from the initial idea to the final blips on the screen.
Video games are everywhere, from iPods and tablets to video consoles and the latest virtual reality headset. By diving into this familiar, engaging topic, kids will get the chance to explore the neuroscience behind the attraction of video games: what makes them fun, what makes them hard to put down. Theyand#8217;ll even tackle the age-old questionand#151;are video games good for us or bad for us?
Readers will deconstruct video games to learn why the characters behave the way they do and how real-world physics compares to game physics. As kids design their own games, they'll develop skills in storytelling, technical writing, communications, graphic design, computer programming, and teamwork. Theyand#8217;ll have so much fun they won't realize they're learning about geometry, statistics, probability, physics, logic, psychology, and neuroscience.
Activities in Video Games include creating text-based adventure quests, designing board games, and programming using free, kid-friendly software such as MIT's Scratch. For kids who just canand#8217;t get enough of video games, hereand#8217;s a chance to visit behind the scenes at a game company to explore the entire design process, from idea to market.
Video Games meets Common Core State Standards for reading nonfiction and math. Guided Reading Levels and Lexile measurements indicate grade level and text complexity.
"This addition to the Build It Yourself series explores the history of video games, tracing their popularity from ancient board games like mancala up through Minecraft today, while providing readers with the basic material to design, write, and code game programs. The 25 included projects range in type and complexity, from making a board game with a video-game-like concept to writing a pseudocode algorithm for a memory and matching game. Ceceri delves into the psychological aspects of playing video games (one headline asks, 'Do video games have a dark side?'), and vocabulary words and phrases like 'define a function, variable, string, and Boolean logic' are placed in context. Digital natives with a serious interest in gaming should find Ceceri's handbook an excellent resource. Ages 9 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure
"Digital natives with a serious interest in gaming should find Ceceriand#8217;s handbook an excellent resource"
Dave Culyba, Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon Universityand#8217;s Entertainment Technology Center
and#147;A nice, gentle introduction to video games. This book does a great job of explaining everything you need to know to get started making games, all the way from the history of video games up to simple tutorials kids can do themselves.and#8221;
Cathe Post, Senior Editor, Geek Mom
and#147;This is an enjoyable journey through the history of video games. It would be great for kids and even grandparents who want to know more about what their kids (and grandkids) are playing!and#8221;
Amy Kraft, Game Designer, Cofounder of Monkey Bar Collective, and parent of two young gamers
and#147;The book has everything a burgeoning video game creator needs: a historical context for games, exciting projects to try at home, a peek into the many different roles that go into making games, and an easy-to-follow introduction to coding. Beyond being fun, itand#8217;s great at sharpening 21st-century skills. As human beings, itand#8217;s in our nature to make and play games, yet making video games can be a daunting proposition. With the fascinating information and exciting hands-on projects in this book, Kathy Ceceri has made video game design accessible and achievable.and#147;
Praise for other books by Kathy Ceceri
Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future with 20 Projects
Chicago Public Library selects Robotics as one of their best of the best books for Kids for 2013!
Featured title in School Library Journal December 2013 "Focus on Inventions"
"Light in tone but dense with information, this guide should appeal to those who already have a strong interest in the topic and are ready for a hands-on challenge. Ages 9and#150;12.
James Floyd Kelly, Writer of LEGO Mindstorms books
and#147;Iand#8217;m not sure what I like best about this bookand#151;the excellent hands-on projects or the easy-to-follow technical discussions or the behind-the-scenes stories about robots in the real world. Thankfully theyand#8217;re all wrapped up in one great book for kids.and#8221;
Micronations: Invent Your Own Country and Culture
Library Media Connection
". . . Recommended"
". . . Ceceri walks kids through all the things that go into making a modern countryand#151;the physical features of the land, the basics of government and economy, the symbolic elements of nation building, and more . . . It's very much worth using in an educational setting, and even worth giving in a more casual way to your kid at home who has a penchant for social studies trivia!"
Praise for other books in the series:
Comics: Investigate the History and Technology of American Cartooning
and#147;This appealing offering introduces the art of cartooning to readers who will not only learn the history of comicsand#151;using pictures (and words) to tell storiesand#151;but also have a chance to do some drawing themselves."
Catch a glimpse inside a school bus and youand#8217;ll see lots of kids looking down. What are they doing? Theyand#8217;re deciding on strategy, building cities, setting traps for monsters, sharing resources, and nurturing critical relationships.
Over 90 percent of kids ages 2andndash;17 play video games. In Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure, young readers learn why games are so compelling and what ancient games such as mancala have in common with modern games like Minecraft. Kids will even create their very own video games using software such as MIT's Scratch!
Using a familiar, high-interest subject, Video Games introduces foundation subjects such as geometry, physics, probability, and psychology in a practical framework. Building Tetris pieces out of Rice Crispie Treats and designing board games are some of the hands-on projects that engage readersand#8217; building skills, while writing actual game code opens digital doors readers may not have known existed.
About the Author
is the author of five books from Nomad Press, including Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future
. She is also the author of several beginner-friendly tech titles for all ages, including Making Simple Robots: Exploring Cutting-Edge Robotics With Everyday Stuff
and Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families
. The Homeschooling Expert on About.com, Kathy teaches hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) workshops at schools, museums, and libraries around the Northeast. She is the proud mother of a video game designer and a filmmaker and lives in Upstate New York. You can find her at craftsforlearning.com.
Mike Crosier holds an MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies. He illustrated Entrepreneurship: Create Your Own Business for Nomad Press. Mike lives in White River Junction, Vermont.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Everyone's a Gamer!
Chapter 1: Electronic Games and Their Roots
Chapter 2: Why Do We Play Games?
Chapter 3: Gamemaking Step by Step
Chapter 4: Codingand#151;How to Write a Game Program
Chapter 5: Make Your Game Come to Life
Chapter 6: So You Want to Make Games . . .