As an occasional Kickstarter supporter, sometimes I come across something that really catches my eye. It is a family-friendly game called the Turing Tumble that teaches everyone (not just kids) how a computer processor really functions.
After months of waiting, with excellent updates provided by the maker, it finally arrived. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/871405126/turing-tumble-gaming-on-a-mechanical-computer)
Being in Silicon Valley, I see a lot “coding camp”, “coding games”, etc. etc. marketed towards our young, but none of them really demonstrate how a computer works internally. For anyone to really understand programming, they would very much benefit from understanding how these machines work. To really understand how to program it, you should first understand how it works.
I received the Kickstarter Edition, which had my name imprinted on the inside of the cover of the box. It was a very special touch by the Maker to thank his Supporters.
Inside the box, you get a manual detailing Allia’s, the Space Engineers, mission to do repairs in outerspace. The manual starts with a very simple puzzle, which gets increasingly harder as you move forward. The puzzles are accompanied with storyline and colorful comic artwork.
The sensory experience of the switches flipping and the marbles trickling down the game board is very mesmerizing in itself. The satisfaction of the adults and the children that complete the puzzles and watch their gears in motion, cannot be overstated.
The puzzles eventually get hard enough that it will even give seasoned Engineers a good challenge. (It was designed by university professor afterall.)
Check it out at: www.turingtumble.com
Recently a new video launched explaining the connection between the Turing Tumble game and a processor.