kudo_project_badgeKodu is a new visual programming language for Xbox 360 made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input.

Launching on the Xbox Live Community Games Channel, this intuitive game lets players choose from a variety of visual building blocks in order to develop their own unique creation. Playgrounds created in Kodu are expressed in physical action-reaction terms, using basic concepts like vision, hearing and time to control your character's behavior. Players can start their own unique Kodu created playgrounds from scratch or, if they aren't in the mood to create, they can choose from several pre-loaded levels for quick play.

With almost 200 different game-creation building blocks to choose from, the opportunities are endless. Originally designed by Microsoft Research as a learning tool for young kids, Kodu is the newest game to keep minds of all ages sharp by developing logic, problem-solving and creative thinking skills.

In 2006, Microsoft Research teamed up with Girls Inc. and the University of Santa Barbara to create an after school “Kodu” program to accurately measure the influence educational games have in the fields of math, science, and comprehension. The team logged hundreds of hours of “Kodu” research with creators from ages five to 45 to ensure that it is easy for beginners, but maintains a depth of content for those who are more advanced.

You can try Kodu today from Xbox LIVE. For more information, see Microsoft Research’s Kodu site.

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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