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Want to Learn to Code? This Nintendo-Style Video Game Will Teach You – And It’s Free


Twilioquest

Writing code is a skill almost anyone can make use of, and now there’s a video game that will teach you how.

Set in an old school, Super Nintendo-like, 16-bit world, TwilioQuest teaches common coding languages like Python, JavaScript, and Open Source and combines the satisfying sense of progression inherent in role-playing games, with actual skills instead of virtual ones, allowing users to level-up in real life just as they level-up in the game.

Twilio is now releasing a version 3.2 of the game, which is free for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, and which features better graphics and more levels, as well as a feature that allows players to code their own additional extensions into the game.

This peculiar way of teaching started back in 2013, and is now welcoming other platforms to contribute to the game’s content, such as media processing-software company Cloudinary, who are currently designing an extension to teach players how to use their video-processing APIs, a body of code that provides access to server infrastructure necessary to deliver video content.

“Our mission is to unlock the imagination of builders,” CEO Jeff Lawson told Fast Company.

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Each level is set to a different language. For Python coders, there are adventures in “The Pythonic Temple,” or you could risk a trek through “The Forest of Open Source”.

Their most recent level is “The Arcane Academy of API Arts,” set in a wizardry school reminiscent of the one in Harry Potter or The Magicians.

TwilioQuest’s popularity (it’s even used in middle and high schools as a fun way to help kids practice coding skills) is naturally beneficial to Twilio, a cloud-based communications company which offers clients solutions for video APIs, and automated emailing and text messaging.

But the lean team of just six developers responsible for making and updating TwilioQuest is proud of their work, and plan to continually introduce many, many more features over time to expand the capacity of their user base to develop their skills.

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“Being a fellow nerd who definitely did play a bunch of Chrono Trigger and other classics of the 16-bit era, the metaphor of a role-playing game where you could kind of level up at your own pace seemed like a useful thing to build upon for training,” Kevin Whinnery, the game’s creator and head of the TwilioQuest team, told Fast Company.

(WATCH the TwilioQuest video below.)

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