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Reduct is a puzzle game for teaching core programming concepts that I developed at Cornell University with Cheng-Yao Wang, Andrew Myers, Erik Andersen, and Francois Guimbretiere. Unlike previous environments, Reduct introduces a novel teaching strategy in which programming language semantics are decomposed into a series of gamified micro-tasks. Without explanation, the game teaches several important and challenging programming concepts, including functions, boolean expressions, equality, conditionals, and mapping functions over sets.
Reduct has been experimentally evaluated with novices. A full paper will be presented at CHI 2017. (A pre-print is available here.) In addition, Reduct has been nominated as one of three finalists in the “Games with a Purpose” section of the CHI 2017 Student Game Competition.