At the end of last week I went to a live meeting of the Games and Learning Special Interest Group. It was my first one, and I’d also agreed to take some Raspberry Pi’s along with an exercise in programming minecraft-pi using Python. I was made to feel very welcome from the outset by a group of people who seemed to value playing as much as they value teaching which I can relate to. If you’re not having fun then you’redoing it wrong!

Programming minecraft-pi seemed a bit off topic, but the exercise was well received – and we hastily covered loops, conditionals and functions in around two hours (although I suspect there may have been a fair amount of programming experience in the room already) and we created lava walls, wood – melon picnic blankets and melon balls inside anti-melon balls. I learnt that it would probably be useful to introduce the api call to set the player position so you can quickly move closer to whatever you’ve been building.

Behold my diamond encrusted solid gold wall!

Behold my diamond encrusted solid gold wall!

During the rest of the event we play tested games, designed games and discussed existing theories and funding opportunities for new research and generally had a lot of fun! For me, this was a great opportunity to network with a group of people with similar interests, and more experience. Thanks to everyone who made it such an enjoyable event.

Oh, and there was cake – and it was good!

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