How kids can learn to code while designing their own metaverse

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Call it serendipity.

Aiden Chopra and Scott Lininger are well aware of the idea of ​​Metavers, but when they started developing Blueprints, a immersive, 3D world where kids between the ages of six and 11 learn how to create code, they realized that they needed children to develop their own version of Metavers. To provide tools.

If the future of our digital interactions is through metavers, where basic content is no longer a webpage, children need to have more control over authorship. Chopra, co-founder and creative director of Blueprint, says that especially important for their parents, interactions need to be safe.

Metawars tested by the child, approved by the parents

The blueprint does both. The web-based portal, which is free to access, encourages children to learn how to code while their avatars are immersed in the evolving world.

Such metavars are created using elements chosen by children and Minecraft-style modeling. Elements can include unicorns, deserts, buildings, bridges, various animals and any product that is a byproduct of the child developer’s imagination. “When it comes down to it, Blueprint is really an authoring tool,” says Chopra. “It’s a platform for kids to create their own world.”

Built-in video chat allows real-time collaboration with friends and family who prefer to invite a child through a custom link. Friends joining using the link appear as avatars who can interact in developed metavars. Up to five invitees can play and collaborate at a time.

At the heart of Blueprint is its proprietary integrated JavaScript-based coding environment, developed specifically for children. “Coding is an integral part of the experience,” says Chopra. Kids enter coding mode with one click at the bottom right of the screen. Doing so splits the screen into a picture of the metavers that make it with snippets of code. Children learn how to create code by studying example code and registering what it does.

Cutting and pasting code snippets will enable children to make new things that can change their world in a new way. For example, if a child wants to remove a unicorn heart, they can simply code it. Changing the color of the sky can be as simple as changing the corresponding lines of code and reloading the world.

Plans are underway to divide the blueprint world according to the levels of coding difficulty. Before graduating with more complex programming – beginners can start by playing with a few different restrictions – teaching a unicorn to answer simple questions or to like or dislike certain foods.

Blueprint continues to investigate in a variety of ways in which platform code will teach.

Built on bitsbox

The challenge of teaching children how to code is not new to Chopra and Lininger. In 2015, they launched Beatsbox, a subscription-based model – subscriptions starting at $ 16.95 per month – which mails monthly coding projects to children ages 6-11. They say they have taught millions of children how to code. Subscription numbers for Bitsbox were not shared.

Chopra says Blueprint builds Minecraft’s capabilities by offering built-in video chat and easy to implement parental controls. Chopra says collaboration on Minecraft is not very direct. “We’re not looking at displacing Minecraft, but we’ve created a number of features that we think will be really exciting for kids who are already in Minecraft,” says Chopra.

Blueprint aims to increase accessibility and the number of children the team can reach by offering web-based portals. The public beta is expected to be released by the end of June. Chopra says, “The plan is to create a really sticky platform to develop a broad user base. Chopra adds, “We are focusing all our energy on creating the most sticky, fun and exciting game development platform we can for kids, and we hope kids will tell each other about it.”

The revenue model of the blueprint will be through additional content that can be purchased while playing in Metavers. Parents may choose to give their children a monthly allowance to spend on content development in the blueprint.

Because Blueprint will be easily accessible to all children with an Internet connection, Chopra hopes there will be extensive authorship and metavars reflecting the real world more closely. “Metavers will have the opportunity to be a place for everyone and a force for good if it is created by everyone,” says Chopra.

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