Robot Turtles, set to release next month, is a board game that’s designed to bring coding literacy to preschool age children.
This wonderfully clever, light-hearted creation is already a sensation in the world of online crowdfunding. Former Google and Microsoft employee Dan Shapiro raised over $631,000 on Kickstarter to build the game last year, and by Christmas, he’d shipped copies to his over 13,700 backers. But now, Robot Turtles is being mass produced by a game company called ThinkFun, and its arrival at Target marks a new milestone for what’s known as the “code literacy movement,” an effort to bring programming skills to, well, just about everyone.
In more ways than one, the new board game serves as a metaphor for the long and steady evolution of computer programming from the most complex and specialized of endeavors to something that practically anyone can grasp. It’s not just that Robot Turtles is a new incarnation of Logo, a turtle-centric programming language that aimed coding concepts at children as early as the 1960s. It’s that ThinkFun, the company behind the game’s push into Target and beyond, can trace its roots through the family of the most important coder in the history of programming—and all the way back to the dawn of the modern computing age
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