That quote at the beginning of the video is fascinating to me too. With all that is happening around wearable devices, the internet of things, etc., we're not too far away from a future of people gesturing and incanting various things and having their environment respond to them.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (and of course the corollary).
Reminds me of a (somewhat cheesy but fun) fantasy book called The Wiz Biz I read once.
Also, I recall there being a reference to an Enochian Metagrammar at one point or another...
I'm going to have to check out this book.
First of all, I just bought into the Kickstarter, go ThoughtSTEM!
I'm a coder and parent in the San Diego area and a scout den leader (2nd graders) and I've run into parents whose kids are in the ThoughtSTEM program and they all love it. ThoughtSTEM and Sarah Esper are VERY well thought of around here and have been actively branching into the community to offer more and more coding classes for kids.
I supported Robot Turtles as a gateway to programming and have a 7 and 5 year old who are now doing code.org. The 7 year old has also done Python turtle programming as well. Many of our cub scouts are on code.org and the technical parents have been very involved in furthering their STEM exposure and Codespells looks absolutely great! I'm going to email it around.
I was thinking of hitting up the ThoughtSTEM folks and seeing if I could arrange a whole class at our school next year. I know I could round up the people and computers, but now it sounds like they might be pretty busy for the next 18 months or so. I wish those folks at ThoughtSTEM the absolute best and encourage everyone to support them, parents around here consider themselves lucky if they can get their kids into the ThoughtSTEM classes!
I've also been aware of CodeSpells for a while and it is clearly a long-term passion for these folks.
I realise they're trying to lower the barrier-to-entry with the blocks and whatnot but I'd expect that if I bought my kid a game called CodeSpells they'd be writing code, so I'm not sure barrier-to-entry is really much of an issue in this case.
I wish they'd have kept at their original concept.
Based on this, calling your game "CodeSpells" is a bit of a stretch. You've made your definition of "code" so vague that MineCraft may as well call itself CodeCraft and market itself as a computer science education tool.
Sorry to be harsh and I applaud the effort but where you're currently at is like saying "I'll teach people to drive and then they can become automotive engineers," which is, while somewhat true, obviously not going to be all that effective.
Now, "something" may be better than nothing but if you really want to have an impact you desperately need to broaden your concept. What you have isn't enough, from my perspective. That said, you obviously know the whole "teaching code" thing is trendy and maybe you might get something out of your Kickstarter. Best of luck with that.
I see no problem if they want to add an advanced mode where you can drop down into an actual programming language like lua, python or scheme.
Seeing more advanced spells from other players might even encourage people to do so, just so they can have status in the game too.
I totally love those games where the players bring all the value by being creative, when the conceptors have absolutely no idea of what the in-game will look like 6 months from now.
It's not about teaching raw code and basic algorithms, but using code as a tool to achieve what's in your mind, and I think that's the most important part to prepare someone for the future of programming.