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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teaches the very basics of Java programming in a kid-friendly framework, July 27, 2014
This review is from: Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java (The Pragmatic Programmers) (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mincecraft is an immensely popular, wildly creative game of building (and far more) with blocks. You can find detailed, illustrated descriptions all over the web, so I won’t waste your time by trying to explain Minecraft here. Suffice it say that it has engaged the attention and interest of tens of millions of kids. If only they could be led to take an interesting in computer programming . . .

And, presto, here is a book that ties to ignite that interest, literally by setting Minecraft cows on fire and lots of other neat destructive things.

Author Andy Hunt deserves a medal, if not a Nobel Prize, for using the Java language to get kids interested in programming. Java, frankly, strikes fear into the hearts of old men like me), but Hunt makes it palatable and accessible to kids of, I’d say, 10 and up, although the best chance for sustained interest might not start till 12 or 13.

Hunt tantalizes his young prospective programmers with the lure of instantly building a Creeper-proof house – your Minecraft player will understand that – making creepers fly and cows flame while he explains the basics of programming the specifics of Java.

It’s a neat trick and Hunt pulls it off well.

My favorite is building a plugin that encases a named player in an immediate structure of blocks, an instant unescapable prison, but there are a lot more tricks in the book, all of which require the acolyte to learn Java in an almost painless manner.

My 11 year old grandson just finished his first computer summer camp, which focused on editing Minecraft worlds. (Again, your local Minecraft player will instantly know what this means). Now I hope I can induce him to at least look at this book when he visits and take a deeper interest in programming. One can hope and tools like Hunt’s book increase the possibility of that happening.

Jerry
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