A character dressed in chainmail was pinned on the pebble-paved ground. To pass, it must avoid shells from left and right and outrun the monsters from behind. This is near the final level of the video game CodeCombat (极客战记 in Chinese). Jun Pan, a 12-year-old boy, was staring at the scene on a computer screen and ready for the challenge.

Instead of using arrow keys, the game requires players to write Python or JavaScrip to direct the character’s movements, so Pan run the 60 lines of codes he had written and his character started running zigzag. Then, he found the way out.

CodeCombat was first developed by the company of the same name, a startup educational gaming company in San Francisco, US and introduced to China by Nasdaq listed NetEase. It aims to teach students coding by having them play their game and supports Python, JavaScript, Lua, and CoffeeScript. Partnering with eight public middle schools, the game is officially one of the school students’ compulsory courses.

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Jiefei Liu

Jiefei Liu is a Beijing based tech reporter. She focuses on the union of tech and content creation and loves agriculture. You can write to her at Jiefei@technode.com