I love "Coding with Minecraft", but one thing that could be improved is that the visual programming in the exercises often feels like an afterthought - not an actual part of the world but something that has been added later. Why are we able to use the visual programming components to program something? In regular Minecraft, we have a crafting table for crafting new items. What is the equivalent for coding here? There basically is none. It doesn't make any sense in the world of the game. It remains something abstract - like in our world.
With my idea, coding could become a natural part of the world, that could be actively experienced like a craft rather than being something abstract and apart from it.
My idea for this is to use marble runs for programming: looping marble track pieces work like loops, branches are if-statments, and marbles can trigger actions if they role over them. This could look like something of the following:
In this example, the marble run on the right side is meant to be inside the wooden car, which enables to drive it remotely.
In this new version of Coding with Minecraft, programming comes natural, because it comes with the physical laws of the world. Just like we are able to craft new items with the crafting table, now we can also animate items with marble tracks. Of course, this would need to be accompanied by stories that somehow introduce one to these mechanics. For this, you can find inspirations in the exercise book on my website: https://pinocchioverse.org/teach/ (its all free to use and open-source).
The full description of the described mechanics can be found in the following documentation: https://pinocchioverse.org/documentation/ (also free to use and open-source).
I think marble runs could make the exercises more engaging and believable and I would love to see it incorporated in Coding with Minecraft. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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