May 20, 2009

NEWS / INTERNET: Young computer game designers unite at MIT

Young computer game designers unite at MIT

By Emma Rose Johnson
Globe Correspondent / May 17, 2009

Max Winkler sat in the atrium of MIT's Media Laboratory, his fingers sliding over a laptop's mouse. He was demonstrating a new game he had programmed, featuring a cartoon smiley-face that chases coins.

"There are three levels," he told the group of onlookers around him. "The last level the coin gets really small and disappears quickly."

The game may not sound that complex, but give the inventor a break. He is only 7 years old.

Winkler was one of 120 children who gathered at the Media Lab on Saturday for Scratch Day, a meet-up event and workshop. Scratch is a simple programming language designed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology specifically for children. The free, open-sourced program allows them to program animation, music, games, and other media, which can then be uploaded to the Scratch website to be used by other "scratchers."

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