Hack Club’s Sprig is a JavaScript games console powered by Raspberry Pi Pico – free for teenage coders

Non-profit educational coding network Hack Club hopes to get people to develop their own games in JavaScript, offering a free handheld console powered by Raspberry Pi Pico to run on to any interested “teen hackers” who can write a game for this: the Brin.

“You should be able to get started in Sprig with very little programming experience,” Hack Club organizers say of the gadget. “Even if you’re an expert, you should still be able to have fun. Sprig games are designed to be shared and hacked with friends. Each submitted game is easily viewable and editable in our gallery allowing people to learn and build the each other.”

Sprig games are written in JavaScript using a web editor, complete with simulator. This is the central pillar of Hack Club’s promise to provide interested teenagers with a free console: all they have to do is write a game in the editor and add it to the gallery. community, and they will be eligible for the gift. “Only teenagers and the youngest can receive Brins”, warn the organizers of the Hack Club. “All are welcome to submit to the gallery though.”

The Sprig itself is based on a Raspberry Pi Pico, running JavaScript games on the board’s RP2040 microcontroller – which the device designers said “involved custom JS runtimes with C optimizations and even PIO [Programmable Input/Output] The board has two groups of four tactile switches, like the direction and fire buttons, with a compact TFT7735 color display in the center and an amplifier driving a speaker. Laser cut wood is used to provide a better grip than a bare PCB. only.

“People learn best when they create things they care about,” says Hack Club, “which they can then share with others. This type of learning philosophy is called constructionism, and Sprig is a type of microworld. A microworld is an environment where you can experience programming by using it to express yourself.”

Those interested in trying out Sprig, whether to receive a free console or simply to experiment with its capabilities, can do so. on the Hack Club website; if you prefer to ride it yourself, hardware and software sources are available on GitHub under the permissive license of MIT.

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