Microsoft's Research division today launched Code Hunt, a browser-based game aimed to teach anyone how to code. The premise of the game is pretty simple: in order to advance to different levels, you have to write code. The inbuilt tutorial specifies that the 'code hunters' (i.e. users) "have been sent into a top-secret computer system to find, restore, and capture as many code fragments as possible." The game uses puzzles, which players explore through clues presented as test cases. Players are encourage to use their code to 'capture' it. Any work is scored based on the complexity of the solution presented.
The problem with programming is that people think it is a boring topic to learn, which is something Code Hunt is attempting to tackle. By making the game adventurous and interactive, coding becomes less of a chore and more of a fun way to play the game. An abstract detailing the game specifies that "learning to code can be made more effective and sustainable if it is perceived as fun by the learner. Code Hunt uses puzzles that players have to explore by means of clues presented as test cases. Players iteratively modify their code to match the functional behaviour of secret solutions."