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Games and Coding

I am officially on vacation for a few weeks.

And I have to have fun every now and then, don't you think?

Too much studying and not enough video games make Gabriele crazy furious.

Day 53: 30 September 2020

**Today’s Progress:**

One month ago, I have read a very interesting article by Quincy Larson entitled "The 9 Best Coding Games Online for Adults to Learn How to Code". That day I created an account for CodinGame but I never had any free time to dedicate to it.

In his article, Quincy Larson reviews sites to learn how to program and are mostly intended for an adult audience. No Hello Kitty theme, no Frozen and no turtles…

Today I wanted to try two of them, and I started from the last ones on the list.

The first one I tried is "VIM adventures".

Very bare graphics and 8-bit feeling (but the final rendering is very bad even if it does its dirty work).

Even though I don't use VIM anymore, I wanted to try it anyway to see what this game offered.

Basically, VIM adventures lets you learn VIM hotkeys by moving in a two-dimensional world and completing missions. This approach strengthens your muscle memory by repeatedly performing the corresponding actions.

You can use the directional arrows to move, but the game recommends the use of h, j, k, l to move left, bottom, top and right respectively. Exactly like the VIM cursor.

Continuing in the game you will unlock various shortcut keys such as w, e, b, x which allow you to move the cursor to the beginning or end of a word and delete the selected character.

I finished the DEMO in a few minutes and the game offers me the possibility to buy the license to have the full game and then learn a huge amount of information.

I don't use VIM, so I don't care, but if I were ever forced to use it, I think it would be worth the purchase.

The other game I tried is CodinGame.

This platform has existed since 2012 and supports various programming languages.

After finishing the tutorial, the "game" proposes three paths to improve the player's knowledge.

Well, I think the difficulty is too high for the average programmer looking for a leisure or a game to learn new concepts.

I tried "Legends of Code Magic" and "Ghost in the cell".

Since the first mission, the amount of code scared and confused me and I literally wandered around their site looking for something within my reach.

I am not surprised to see that some challenges or "games" have been played by less than 200 people.



In normal times, I'm a geek, a gamer, a nerd and if I can play with pleasure ANYTHING. I also easily get convinced to try a game, literally throwing my free time out the window.

Since the lockdown started in France (March) I've had a lot (too much) free time and I've played practically EVERYTHING 24/7.

Only for the first month.

Then the boredom began.

I started thinking about how the quality of the games gets worse year after year in favor of business practices that undermine the player experience.

I'm referring to all those games that when I was a child I would have bought with pleasure just to have the box and play it for a few days, while now they propose the "Free to Play" version and have in their store packages of 199€ (or worse a "subscription" called "game pass") that give a clear advantage in the game.

Now the bots are us, there is no need to program an artificial intelligence with various degrees of difficulty. You just need to have various degrees of "wallet", to be able to give those who spend money or time (a lot of time) an immense advantage over new players.

This practice disgusts me.

Moreover, almost all F2P games hide behind a miserable RPG system that offers a fictitious progression to exponentially increase the longevity of a game that would last a few hours.

Time is money, friend.

That's why I try as much as possible to learn something from video games, accumulate knowledge rather than press a button to collect virtual objects or worse, watch any game play itself in auto mode.

Fourteen years ago, I used to play Uplink in order to learn the UNIX terminal commands.

Those were good times.

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February 2024


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