Potato, Pirates, and Programming
How it all began
Learn Coding with Potatoes, not Computers
Remember the times before iPhones and iPads? When we would gather with friends to play sports, enjoy games and or just chill out together? Potato Pirates is trying to bring back that social element for kids, parents and even educators.
Why do Potato Pirates exist?
As tech educators, we see a growing trend where kids are learning through digital devices. At the same time, we hear complaints from parents and teachers about the adverse effects of screen time and they are craving for offline platforms that are educational yet engaging for kids.
Moreover, the challenge with tech education (e.g. coding) is that most parents did not learn such things in school so when their kids ask them for help, they are totally clueless on how to even guide them. This causes a lack of continuity in a kid’s learning journey and makes it tough to sustain their enthusiasm in coding.
Because of that, we started growing these cute little things.
Potato Pirates is a secret weapon to tackle these challenges.
Through Potato Pirates, parents get to be involved in their child’s education and it provides them with an engaging medium where they can learn with their child.
By bringing the game offline, it promotes social interaction among kids and adults while encouraging peer learning.
The most awesome thing about Potato Pirates is accessibility. No Wi-Fi, no computers, no electricity — but, you still can learn coding.
Meet Potato Pirates — A swashbuckling card game in which you master coding concepts as you mash, fry and loot your way to victory. Power up attacks with code, sabotage enemies with surprises and be the last potato pirate standing in this ruthless game of logic and strategy.
How do we play and learn with Potato Pirates?
Every player is a Potato Pirate and you win by collecting all 7 Potato King cards or be the last pirate standing to rule the Carbbobean Sea. To start the game, each player is given 2 potato pirate ships, 20 potato crew members and 5 playing cards. When other players attack you, you lose your potato crew. Once all your potatoes are gone, your ships sink and you are out. There are 4 different types of cards:
Action cards are potato attacks that you stack on your pirate ships to hit enemy potatoes. These cards can only be used once UNLESS you have…
Control cards which consists of loops & conditionals, grant you superpowers and let you use your action cards multiple times! Coding concepts introduced here are for loops, while loops and if-else.
Surprise cards are sabotage cards and they are what makes you a pirate. They are like interrupts and some surprise cards introduce control structures and boolean logic.
Bug cards are weird events that happen to you that you must reveal immediately. My personal favorite is the Potato King. When you draw a Potato King, everyone must salute to you and shout out “POTATO KING”. The last to do so will pay you 2 potatoes as royalties. These cards are analogous to bugs in coding.
In the game, you can stack potato “Action” cards on your pirate ship to mash other players. To power up your attacks, you can combine them with the mystical “Control” cards and learn fundamental coding concepts at the same time. Don’t forget to foil other players’ plans by using “Surprise” cards but look out for “Bugs” that appear out of nowhere! By mastering the game, you will be equipped with fundamental coding concepts and become a badass Potato Pirate.
We are inspired by this quote from Steve Jobs and it resonates deeply with our company’s vision:
Cultivating in children the mindset of challenging conventional pathways and boost their confidence in doing so by equipping them with a diverse skill set (more on that in this medium post).
To achieve this, we constantly encourage kids to step out of their comfort zone. Hence, we wanted something that contrasted with pirates. Something that stays on land and has never been to the sea before. Something so common and unassuming (like kids) and yet has so much potential for greatness. Voila, Potatoes! That’s how Potato Pirates were born.
Where are the Potato Pirates sailing to next?
They are on a mission to bring autonomy in education, and innovation in learning. Through numerous Potato Pirates play-testing sessions, these little carbs have increased people’s interest in coding by 89%, improved their understanding of coding concepts by 84% and 92% increase in speed to pick up coding languages such as Python.
We have thought of so many exciting ways that we can advance coding concepts with Potato Pirates, in different forms and media. But first, we need your support and acknowledgement of the fact that everyone, most importantly, children, learn best through play.
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