Posted in Just for Fun

Confessions of a Closet Gamer

code club
Code Club @ Meinders Library

Once upon a time a young girl grew up in the world of words with no television. Fast forward through the ages and into raising her own children. This young lady discovered Battle Tanks with her oldest son. The years went on and the occasional game of Battle Tanks was played with her boys. Often it was a marathon session where mother and son fought their way to the very end, winning heroically against the Nintendo 64.

Then came the library. A place where books abounded, and ironically, so did technology. The entire community got behind the library and it won a huge nation-wide grant. Programs were hosted, technology was purchased. Tools were bought, and Bloxels happened.

This easy to navigate game builder once again sucked the girl (now of a respectable age) into the world of gaming. Only this time, it was to create. Just for fun, she introduced her youngest to Bloxels. Together, they designed games. Her characters were pulled from thin air and imagination. The screen was hers to master. Kind of.

You see, while she was somewhat computer literate, coding was an elusive thing relegated to that one high school class 30+ years ago when computers took up nearly a whole room and Oregon Trail still touted stick figures. In other words, her ability to create was limited.

Then Prenda came along. And a whole new world opened up. (Click to see how.)

This (now middle-aged, but still young at heart) woman took a training with two peers (also very young at heart) on creating a code club. Once again, the possibility of creating (and playing) games was at her fingertips. Joy filled her heart and the trio committed to running a Code Club in the library.

What is coding, one might ask? The short answer is this: it is the magic that makes our technology work.

Long answer: it’s hard work. It’s trial and error. It’s exploring possibilities and making something out of nothing. It’s what makes your phone ring and your alarm clock sing. It tells the world of machines what to do, when, and how.

And it’s easy enough for eight-year-olds and sophisticated enough for NASA engineers.

This summer, youth 8-18 are invited to learn how to code. This weekly, self-paced program will keep coders of all ages and learning styles invested. While we encourage youth to bring their own laptop or chromebook, we will have computers available for participants.

Code Club will meet from 3:30pm to 5:00pm every Monday between May 20 and August 19. Parents of young participants are encouraged to stay for the first session to help their child register, though older youth will be able to follow the steps alone. If you bring your own device, please have Chrome downloaded and ready to go before the first session on May 20.

To get the most out of the summer Code Club, coders are encouraged to join us as often as possible. However, since this club is self-directed, coders can still attend that family reunion or step into the program as summer heats up.

Light snacks will be provided. Because if there is one thing a closet gamer knows for certain, it is this: imagination runs on fuel!

happy coding~ jody


Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.