Ryan and I are playing around with Scratch, once again, in preparation for the upcoming Scratch @ MIT conference. One of the ideas we are exploring is that of bringing Scratch sprites into the real world, by either printing them out, cutting them out of vinyl, embroidering them on badges with a digital embroidery machine, engraving them on stuff using a laser cutter, or any combination thereof.
After a bit of thought, Ryan suggested that perhaps it would be more fun, for die-hard Scratch fanatics, to print out their code, instead of their sprites. Scratch code is made by snapping graphical blocks together, and is very intuitive to use and based on natural language. So, for example, the code to make a sprite turn 360 degrees would look something like this:
Somewhere in there, the idea of making the code represent how you would deal with real life situations, instead of actual functional Scratch code, came about. First, Ryan made a snippet of code for how to deal with your alarm clock:
Then, here’s how Ryan deals with situations of the heart:
Finally, we challenged each other to write an algorithm for the same situation. In this case, here’s how I order coffee (left) and how Ryan does it (right)
I feel like we’re really onto something here… Just setting up a board with a few examples and a few prompts, and letting people make their own “real life algorithms” and tack them on the board, I think, will be the hit of the conference!