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When arcade games and home computer games first came out, many parents believed they were a menace. The mall arcade was where teenagers got into trouble, while home computer games were seen as the place for kids to waste time indoors instead of playing outside, like generations of kids before them.

Today, the story is very different. Contemporary video games are an advanced art form. More accurately, they’re the site where art forms like storytelling, graphics design, and music composition come together. No wonder the video game industry rivals the value of Hollywood and the music industry put together!

Far from seeing video games as a threat to keep away from children, more parents are tuned into harnessing the power of video games to teach their kids fundamental computer coding skills.

Fun is Everything

People learn best when they enjoy processing the material. Learning doesn’t have to be a drag or drudgery! After-school online coding classes need to be enjoyable for kids first and foremost because they are extracurricular for children, and nothing matters more than that.

That’s why the best programs let kids learn to code by building games they can play with friends and family afterward, showing off their creations. Kids stay motivated to complete their projects when the payoff is that high.

Gamification for Engagement

The leading coding schools have another trick up their sleeve known as gamification. Basically, they take the dynamics that keep kids so engaged by video games and apply them to coding lessons.

There are countless ways to do it, but some of the most common ones involve giving students a sense of increased purpose to make tasks feel grander and more epic or letting them track their progress to compete against themselves and feel like they’re building towards something that counts.

In a very real sense, gamification turns learning into a game, keeping lessons fun but also encouraging students to learn.

Popular, Powerful Coding Languages

Learning to code shouldn’t be only fun and games! The best online coding programs focus on teaching the coding languages used today to build the most popular video games, apps, and websites.

Parents can tell that a coding program is advanced if it teaches languages such as:

  • Python
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • C#
  • C++

Learning to code teaches kids all kinds of secondary benefits, like critical thinking and even improved self-esteem. However, they should also have direct knowledge of the coding languages employers expect the programmers they hire to know.

Kids learning how to program today could become professional video game coders down the road. Even if they work in a related field where they use computers regularly, direct knowledge of the vital coding languages gives them a leg up in many industries.

Just like play teaches kids essential life lessons, video games can be as edifying as any pedagogy. Today’s video games bear little resemblance to those from decades ago, and knowing how to write code in the same languages can be the most fun way to prepare them for life in a digital world.