THE CENTER TEACHES KIDS HOW TO CODE VIDEO GAMES
FARGO, N.D. — If you have kids, they’re probably playing or about to play a video game.
A new Fargo business is helping kids not only play those games, but also create them.
Code Ninjas is the only facility of its kind in North Dakota.
“We’re kind of the lone wolves in Fargo, the lone wolf in North Dakota as far as a coding center. So, we’re really making a mark here in the community and in the state as a whole,” said center director Mackenzie Brimm.
Code Ninjas gives kids opportunities to contribute to video games like Roblox by teaching them how to code.
“Once I went into Roblox for the first time, I thought the creators of Roblox just created it. But no, kids take their time to build it. So that’s just cool that one of the kids is me,” said Code Ninjas participant Jameson Mutch.
Code Ninjas holds different camps throughout the summer for kids as young as seven to learn coding.
The instructors, or senseis, at Code Ninjas say this isn’t so much a classroom as it is a dojo.
“We’re not teachers, this isn’t a school. We are senseis in a dojo and you are a ninja,” said sensei Derek Evanson.
The ninjas’ expertise levels can range from white to black belt. Once they’re a black belt, they create their own apps and even become professional coders.
It’s not always simple, though. Troubleshooting is a word the ninjas learn early on in camp.
“They don’t know why something’s wrong. I kind of have them go ahead and read through it, and eventually, something will click, and they know what went wrong, they fix it, they play their game, it works, and then they jump out of their chair, excited,” said Evanson.
That excitement often times rubs off on the ninjas’s parents as well.
“We’ve got a lot of parents that call after hours and they’re asking questions. ‘How do I do this? My son wants to show me, or my daughter wants to show me what they’re doing. Can you show me how to do it?’” said Brimm.
Everyday at camp, the kids work on building their own 3D world and continue adding to their ninja toolboxes.
The center hosts different themed camps throughout the summer for app-building, robotics gaming and coding and has been open for nearly two months.