Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The visual nature of the language allows for rapid design iteration using only an Xbox game controller for input on a Windows PC (mouse/keyboard input is also supported).
Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games. The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.
If you are familiar with Scratch ( http://scratch.mit.edu/ ) then you can think of Kodu as a 3d equivalent and much more engaging for the students, especially when you put an x-box controller in their hands.
A key new feature of this version is an option for sharing games in an online community.
Look for Karl’s Football Frenzy game. Karl presented this last week during a Kodu workshop at the Learning@Schools conference in Rotorua (photos from the workshop will be posted shortly).
Download from http://bit.ly/MSKodu
There is also a Kodu Game Lab - Classroom Kit for teachers.