Hello World of Game Programming

In the computer community, the name of the first program most beginners learn is "Hello World".  Similarly, the Jewelbots "Hello World" segment is a fun, bite-size intro to get you more excited about seeing science differently! This is where Jewelbots proves that the opposite of science is not girl!

I'm going to address the elephant in the room, and start by calling out the stereotype that video games are a "boy thing". Recent studies have shown that the gender gap between female and male gamers is decreasing and becoming more equal! (That's one place to start right?)

Do you play games?

 Admittedly, "gamer" is a vague and wide encompassing term. You could be considered a gamer whether you're playing Candy Crush, Minecraft, or Super Smash Bros! (Personally, I'm your salty League of Legends player!) And seriously, who wasn't part of the Pokemon Go bandwagon?? (Okay, honestly, I wasn't, but that's because League is #1! ha)

To be honest, video games kind of have a bad rep. Your parents hate it when you play them, they distract you for hours at a time, and they can be highly addictive. But let's be honest with ourselves and ignore everything else for a moment: video games are awesome! It allows you to get lost in aw hole new world. But let's take it further and imagine creating that world yourself?

The amazing part... you don't have to be a professional to start game programming! For this "Hello World" segment, we're going to explore Minecraft mods!

For many, Minecraft is about collecting resources and using them to build up a base where you'll eventually prepare to fight bad guys (eek enderman!). For others, it's a tool for creative innovation!

Although Minecraft is entertaining as is, there's always room for change and improvement! And so, Minecraft Modding is one of the most popular features within the community. Mods are anything that changes a game from what it originally was. Most mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, change the creative feel, or give the player more options in how they interact with the game world.People who create mods are called modders, and the word modding is slang for "modify"!

With the power of mods, the Minecraft community has created ways for you to incorporate Doctor Who, Disney, My Little Pony, and more into your gameplay! Things like increasing inventory space, creating custom tools, and challenging Minecraft's limits are all part of the fun in creating mods!

Creating mods is a popular form of game programming since you don't have to create a whole new game from scratch, but instead make creative add-ons to what already exists!

There's a lot of websites like LearnToMod, that are designed to teach people as young as nine about how to program their own Minecraft mods.

The Minecraft Gamepedia wiki is also a great resources for learning how to get started on creating mods too! Here, an extensive guide explains and shares all the resources needed to get started. From where to find the software to ways for making your mod public, this guide has it all!

Minecraft Modding for the PC edition involves programming in Java. Howveer, the pocket edition (phone app ver.) for Minecraft is generally programmed with C++. There are many guides for beginners, so don't feel overwhelmed at all! If you love playing Minecraft, learning how to program by trying to turn your own game mod idea into reality is the best way to teach and motivate yourself!