Hugo Cardoso A.K.A. Code Monkey
by Michael MacKay
September 19th, 2020
Dr. Veletsianos, feel free to disregard this section for the assignment. I just felt that I would be doing the article a disservice by not including a more in-depth background on Cardoso.
This blog post is written about Hugo Cardoso, an independent game developer from Portugal. At first, one may argue that Cardoso, better known by his YouTube alias Code Monkey, is an unconventional example of an educational technology leader. For one, his contribution to the furtherment of educational technology falls outside the traditional scopes of most higher education experts. That is to say, the bulk of his contributions fall in the form of YouTube videos (Cardoso, n.d. -a), where he explains different coding procedures for the Unity Game Engine (Unity Technologies, 2020). These videos have value to the community and create an excellent opportunity for asynchronous learning. Furthermore, he is the epicentre of a dynamic learning community hosted on the communication application Discord (Cardoso, n.d. -b). However, these accolades are not the focus of this blog post. I believe Cardoso is an educational technology leader because of his recent software release entitled Learn Game Development, Unity Code Monkey (Endless Loop Studios, 2020).
When new technologies are introduced, their use tends to focus on old paradigms before novel applications are realized (Weller 2020, p. 64). This process is nothing new in educational technology and in itself is not negative. In many cases, they create rich and powerful learning opportunities. Nevertheless, as Weller states, this should be viewed as the “initial step to greater experimentation” (2020, p. 64). Hugo Cardoso, an independent game developer and educator, has taken this next step in experimentation.
Cardoso has been releasing game development video tutorials on YouTube for over two years (Cardoso, n.d. -a). More recently, he has released his first project that uses interactive tutorials embedded in a game-like program to teach learning outcomes (Endless Loop Studios, 2020). In this program, users progress through the games by completing programming-based objectives that simulate the game development process (interested readers can see this approach below). This experiment can create authentic and realistic learner experiences because, unlike traditional lectures or asynchronous video tutorials, they allow the learner to explore the content in their original environments. What is significant about Cardoso’s approach is not its novelty or creative use of technology, but the pedagogical focus that marries the game and lesson design. Speaking theoretically, it is a practical application of gamification science, a post-positivist view of adding gaming elements to real-world processes (Landers et al., 2018, p. 318). In some respects, it can be seen as an education-first development process by taking into account the learning objective during the technology’s development cycle.
I have created a short example following Cardoso’s model. It is a simple coding game that focuses on typing and invoking real methods to navigate the environment. Click on the picture below to give it a try. Please note: This product is not optimized or designed for mobile applications, if you are on a phone your experience will be degraded.
Article written with permission from Hugo Cardoso.
Cardoso, H. (n.d. -a). Code Monkey. YouTube. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFK6NCbuCIVzA6Yj1G_ZqCg
Cardoso, H. (n.d. -b). Code Monkey. Discord. https://t.co/0dX9qe3a5G
Endless Loop Studios. (2020, August 9). Learn Game Development, Unity Code Monkey. Steam. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1294220/Learn_Game_Development_Unity_Code_Monkey/
Landers, R. N., Auer, E. M., Collmus, A. B., & Armstrong, M. B. (2018). Gamification Science, Its History and Future: Definitions and a Research Agenda. Simulation & Gaming, 49(3), 315–337. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878118774385
Unity Technologies. (2020). Unity Real-Time Development Platform. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://unity.com/
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press. https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771993050.01