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Bloxels: This kids STEM toy uses tangible blocks to build a video game

(TECH NEWS) Bloxels is the STEM toy that is going to give kids their first taste of coding and tech and we’re amped about it.

bloxels

Straight out of my dreams

In the eighties I had Nintendo, and my world building included Legos and blocks, drawing, and writing.

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I would never have dreamed there would be a way I could somehow combine all of those things into one, no coding required.

Bloxels

Bloxels is an interactive STEM game that allows you to build out characters, levels, and art to bring stories to life. The 13×13 Bloxels GameBoard is the starting point for every aspect of your game. With the Bloxels GameBoard you can create entire rooms and customize heroes and villains using colored blocks.

Once you are finished with the design elements of the game board, you can then capture the game board on your mobile device to add it to your game.

The majority of the customization comes from the Bloxels Builder app, which allows players to fully flesh out their stories and add personal touches to their levels.

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Educational and fun

This is a really cool “gadget/toy” that challenges kids to work visually and think critically about placement of design elements and storylines, but it’s also more than that. Bloxels is an immersive and tangible way for kids with different learning styles that’s a hands-on, brains-on, creativity and technology experience.

And in my opinion, the heart of the effectiveness of Bloxels lies in the undeniable love of video games.

From this, kids “gain greater understanding of important topics like design logic, and computer science and demonstrate their knowledge of history, science and mathematics and more through the games they create.”

The website itself gives you a pretty good idea of how it works, and you can even test drive some of the games created by other players. I played The Adventures of Space Cat! It’s cute, colorful, and allows you to be a cat in space who powers up with some kind of rocket boost and throws bombs and collects energy packs while you jump from space rock to space rock.

I can’t tell you how it ends as I kept losing rocket fuel and falling to my death, but I was impressed that a game with that much nostalgic 8-bit-like detail could be made from blocks on a grid.

Here’s to the next generation

The folks at Bloxels really strive to make kids feel empowered about their ability to create stories and have fun, and I am all for more storytellers in this world. Interactive games that allow people to approach complex ideas like logic and storytelling helps to shape the way that they see the world in addition to how they approach ideas in the world as well.

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And who knows, maybe many of these early Bloxels adopters will be future programmers?

#BloxelsRoxels

Written By

Ashe Segovia is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southwestern University. A huge film nerd with a passion for acting and 80's movies and synthpop; the pop-cultural references are never-ending.

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