Gamer and Animator Ethan Loves Creating Games!
Ethan is eleven and in the 5th grade. He lives in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania, and likes to code, draw, and build things out of clay. He’s coded some really exciting projects, so we spoke with him to find out what inspires him to create with Tynker!
What do you want to be when you grow up? I like animation, so I want to do something in graphics and design.
How did you get introduced to Tynker? I like to make video games, so I went to the App Store and found Tynker, where you could draw your own stuff. I used Tynker and I really liked it.
How long have you been using Tynker? About a year or two.
What is your favorite thing you’ve made? I made a video game called Bushido Baboon. I’ve done three of them so far, and I’m working on a newer one.
Do you look at the Tynker community projects? Oh yes. I think some of the games are very nice. Every once in awhile I look at one from the community and I click “see code” and I can see how they do different things. Sometimes I look at them and learn from them.
What’s your favorite feature in Tynker? I like making my own video games and I like viewing some of the other ones and learning new things. Every single time I go on there I learn a different thing to do – I learned variables a couple days ago.
Is there anything you’re working on currently? I was making my Bushido Baboon 3, and I had this other game, it was a shark game and you move it around with your finger – it was this animated shark that eats these falling chicken legs. I was working on that one. I have a couple other ones, though.
Why do you like to code? I like being able to create my own video games because a lot of times the video games I play don’t really amuse me that much. I like making my own games, and making my own mini characters.
Do you play a lot of video games as well? I play some. I don’t have as many as most kids on my school do on their iPads. I got some PS4 things a while ago and I’ve been trying all that stuff, making all sorts of new games and playing them. Games always fascinate me because I when I play video games I wonder how I can make that on Tynker, and then I just try to do the exact same thing using the code blocks, and I have a lot of fun.
Do you have a favorite video game? I like this video game called Little Big Planet. You can make whatever you want, you play these awesome levels, that was one of my favorites. Sometimes I look at it and see how I can make something similar. I like video games – it’s something that’s always fascinated me.
Do you think learning how to code has changed how you see video games? Yeah. When I play video games I don’t think of it like I normally would when I was little. What I think is, “How could I make that?” I think about how it’s designed, and I think about it while I’m playing it. Same as when I started doing animation, like drawing and using computers and stuff. When I watch tv shows that are cartoons, I’m not looking at the plot or anything. I’m actually looking at how they animate it.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, I do. I think kids should try more things like coding because I learn a lot. Sometimes I learn math things, and things that actually help me. At school, we’re learning coding a little bit, but I think of it as not exactly as good as Tynker, the programs we’re using, it’s just way too easy. When I use Tynker I feel like I’m doing something more challenging and fun.
What advice would you give for kids starting out with Tynker? When I was learning, I just checked out some of the tutorials because those can really show you a lot. Those videos can really help you when you look at them, it’s really amazing.
Ethan’s mom Becky is happy that Ethan is learning to code – he loves it, so does she! She told us, “I remember back when I learned coding for computers, it was much different.” Becky thinks coding is beneficial for children, saying, “ I think intellectually, creatively – it helps them communicate. It helps him express who he is.”
We’re so glad you’ve seen how coding can help kids express themselves, Becky. We’re thrilled coding is such a positive and exciting hobby for you, Ethan! We can’t wait to play your next Bushido Baboon game, and good luck with the shark game. Keep coding!