If you can't beat 'em...
Published a year ago
If you can't beat 'em...
Do your kids choose their babysitter based on what kind of phone she has and how long she lets them play on it?
Mine do.
Sick. I know. I feel somewhat responsible for this sickness as we have filled our home with mobile phones, iPads, a Wii, and various other gaming devices which have fallen out of favor with the rise of cheap apps. We have put limits on our boys’ “screen time”, but it’s always a battle. If you’ve ever tried to pry an iPad away from a 5 year old after a successful Raptor hunt in Carnivores Pro, then you know. In our home we’ve coined the term “Wii Rage”.
I spent this week developing a 3D game in Unity for Android. The concept is simple. Roll the ball across the platforms and collect all of the cubes before the 20 second timer runs out. I made 8 levels which get increasingly difficult as you progress.
Then I gave it to my boys.

I have to admit, watching them play my game is satisfying. First, because it took me many hours to create, and second, because it has sparked a curiosity in them. What’s inside the “black box”? How do we move our kids from pure consumers to active creators? We demonstrate the creative process, and expose them to the tools of that process. Am I feeding the sickness, or am I pulling back the veil?
I’m not sure yet, but this is fun.
Mike Chiafulio
Department Chair Computer Science - Educator