Playing around with P2PU and Open Badges.

P2PU Logo from

P2PU Logo from

Pretty much everyone who knows me knows I am very interested in games and how they can be used to influence behavior. So much so in fact that a BIG part of my Doctorate in Education work has focused around gamification. A very closely related field is badgification. I originally became interested in it when I noticed how I would continue to play an Xbox game I did not like much JUST to continue gathering achievement badges. I’m fascinated by the power of the badge to keep you engaged in a process that is marginally interesting or fun just to get more badges. So, one of the things that has been on my mind for quite a while is that I need to work on increasing my coding skills and what better way to do that than to experiment with badgification at the same time! Obviously I can do a bit with HTML and CSS and I have learned a little JavaScript over at Code Academy, but I stumbled onto P2PU and just HAD to play with their badge system because it looked so cool and was integrated with the Mozilla Open Badge Program. As soon as I figure out how to share my Open Badge Backpack I’ll post a link here.

Anyways, I am currently enrolled in the Webmaking 101 Challenge at P2PU. Part of this challenge will have me writing posts over here about things related to webcraft, coding, and other stuff showing off what I need for peer review and the eventual rewarding of my cool badges to show off my newly acquired skills. As I progress I’ll also share some of my thoughts about the program and it’s strengths and weaknesses and how I feel it is preparing me to eventually create some of my own apps, games, and other interactive media.

Have you had any experience with P2PU, Code Academy, or any similar sites? what was your experience?


Code Hero – PAX Game Trailer!

Code Hero screen shotI purchased Code Hero several months ago while it was seeking funding on Kickstarter because I’m a gamer, and I’m also very interested in making games and learning to code so I thought a game that taught Unity and Javascript was a GREAT way to learn. Funding the Kickstarter gave you access to a proof of concept level and since playing through that I have been impatiently waiting for its launch! Well I saw the Code Hero booth at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) last weekend and I have to say I am VERY glad the guys at Primer Labs are taking their time and making this game right!

Here is the PAX trailer:

Here is the original trailer used for Kickstarter showing the proof of concept level:

As you can see the PAX trailer has a LOT more polish and gives a lot more insight into how the Unity Game Engine is simulated through the game to modify the world and teach skills that can be translated into actual game development ability. I had a chance to talk to Alex the Lead developer at PAX and he said things got a little crazy leading up to PAX but that the Alpha build would be released to all Kickstarter backers in the next week or two. As you can see when comparing the two videos it’s well worth the wait! He also hinted that there was more Code Hero DLC coming where other skills would be taught like compiling a Linux Kernel! His goal is to be able to traing software engineers using nothing but games! I’m really excited to be along for the ride!

Did you back the Kickstarter for this? What do you think about games being used to teach real life skills?