open source vs. constructionist learning

Carlos Nazareno object404 at
Mon Apr 12 21:40:27 EDT 2010


A) Syntax vs. Algorithms

Scenario 1:
complex XO game is built in C, binary, complete C sourcecode + all
source files + minimal documentation are included. Kid only
understands Python. Sourcecode is complete gibberish. Kid enjoys game
anyway & learns from content.

Scenario 2:
complex XO game is built in C, binary, no sourcefiles or C sourcecode
included, but algorithms/principles used to create the game +
mechanics in English tutorial + pseudocode are included so users can
create their own version of the game using any language. Kid only
understands Python. Kid enjoys game anyway & learns from content.

Which of the 2 scenarios is constructionist?

B) Engaging vs. Spoonfeeding

Scenario 1:
Closed binary of new free fantastic game is provided, contains
chockful of puzzles & easter eggs for kid to explore and discover.
There are no spoilers available on the net. Kid explores and
collaborates with friends & classmates to solve the game, gain
inspiration from the game & implement their own inspired version in

Scenario 2:
Sourcecode is included, kids peek into the sourcecode to get all the
answers to the puzzles without having to explore, collaborate or flex
their mental muscles or creativity. Basically no effort. Game over,
game is done. They have a good laugh and move on to the next game.

Which of the 2 scenarios is constructionist?

Alternately, replace game with multiple choice math puzzles. Available
multiple choice answers had no explanation, just the plain answers
(e.g. 5, 12, 3.5, etc)

C) Artistic Vision

Scenario 1:
I am an artist. This is my vision of a game, this is how I implemented
it. This is my artistic statement, and I hope it inspires the audience
to create their own artistic statement (hopefully games themselves
too) inspired by it. I do not want users to tinker with and modify the
sourcecode game itself I made, I want them to flex their mental
muscles and creativity and create their own original games using any
tool they want.

Theoretical Example:

Scenario 2:
Kid changes some of the text like the names of the characters, reskins
some of the art assets, but game is unchanged. Laughs and enjoyment
are had by friends, but nothing groundbreaking or original is

Real-world  Example:

The *Official* Beijing Olympics committee hired programmmers who
reverse engineered & plagiarized Ferry Halim's game snow Day
( -> Please check it out, the Ferry is a truly
gifted pioneering artist/game developer), not even bothering to
replace some very obvious art assets.

Which of the 2 scenarios is constructionist?

(please note that I am into the mod community. I love to death the
games & mods that starting hackers & budding game developers made in
doom, quake, half-life & unreal. Counterstrike & Team Fortress  would
not exist without the mod community or the support ID software or
Valve gave them.)

I know you guys are sick of my voice, so I'm going to refrain from
posting for a while. Please give the above serious thought, and I
would really really appreciate it if I could hear your thoughts.

Please have a great week, continue to rock on, you guys are my heroes.

All the best,


carlos nazareno
interactive media specialist
zen graffiti studios
"if you don't like the way the world is running,
then change it instead of just complaining."

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