Blog Post

Games from Playpower's workshop in India

Kishan Patel, a Playpower volunteer, shared the following about Playpower's recent activity in India:

A ten day workshop was held at IIIT-Hyderabad from December 10-20, 2009. At this workshop, three teams of computer science students from top universities round India participated in the creation of demonstration games for this computer. In addition to teaching the technical basics of the $10 computer, the workshop also introduced the students to principles of learning from the learning sciences and a method for analyzing the motivational elements of historical educational games. Needs-assessment, ideation, and storyboarding workshops were conducted over several days.

By the end of the workshop, we came up with three game designs. All games are developed for demonstration purposes; they are not finished products, but are effective at communicating a core game mechanic.

A poster summarizing the workshop is available here:
Playpower Poster.pdf

The games with their description and source code are available below:

Hanuman Typing warrior

A skill as simple as touch typing can make the difference between earning a dollar a day as an urban laborer or several dollars a day as a clerk in an office. Therefore, one team set out to create a typing game based on the classical mythological character Hanuman. This well-known character may make the game more engaging and encourage good parental reception. The narrative of the game is the quest for the medicine for Lord Laxman.Player has to type the words written in the clouds before the time runs out.

Description of the game:

Source Code:
Hanuman typing game.rar

Hanuman's Quiz Adventure

Quiz games are famous and well-liked in India, as demonstrated by the numerous hit television shows with a multiple-choice question/answer format. Quiz games can encourage an appreciation for knowledge and furthermore engage an entire family in game play. Therefore, one team created a quiz game that is combined with the popular story of young Hanuman flying up to the sun, which he mistakenly believes is an apple.

Description of game:
Quiz game.ppt

Source Code:
Quiz game.rar

Mosquito Game

Health awareness is a critical issue in India, considering that more than 80% of childhood mortality in India is caused by preventable and curable disease. Therefore, one team created a fun game based on preventing Malaria, which causes over 1.6 million deaths per year. Because one common video game mechanic involves the repetitive destruction of a large number of "enemies,” the eradication of large numbers of mosquitoes is actually rather satisfying. This team is now creating a full game about the dangers of malaria.

Description of the game:
Mosquito Game.ppt

Source Code:
Mosquito game.rar



How hard do you think it would be for younger students to learn enough code to write a game like these?  What is the programming platform? (BTW, I get an "access denied" message when I try to follow the links to source code.)


Hi there!  While the assembly code used to make these games is quite challenging for anyone, there are two other options.  One is a C compiler; but this is not finished and is still quite challenging.  However, the $10 computer actually comes with a BASIC interpreter built-in to one of its cartridges.  As in, you can turn on the computer and within two clicks of the mouse, start programming in BASIC. 

The flavor of BASIC is actually set up to support making games.  We haven't really explored making new games using this, as there are a few challenges to be solved.  But it might be an interesting approach!