In the cultural landscape of 2018, video games are difficult to ignore. Consumers have been drawn to games this year in record numbers, partaking not only of lighthearted multiplayer romps like Fortnite and Overwatch but also emotionally taxing narratives such as the speculative sci-fi odyssey Detroit: Become Human and the sweeping Western tragedy Red Dead Redemption 2. There is a growing mainstream awareness that video games can, and often do, constitute genuine art. The medium is in the midst of a golden age.
Rewind about six decades and the same could not be said. In fact, in 1960, “popular video games” would have been an oxymoron. Programmers with access to the hulking and temperamental computers of the era worked on games here and there, but none had the magic needed to proliferate nationwide. That is, until a group of enterprising MIT students concocted a simple but enthralling program called Spacewar!, which debuted in 1962 on the Digital Equipment Corporation’s PDP-1 machine and promptly caught fire.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.