Hard fun is not always fun
Seymour Papert tells the story of a young person emerging from a logo workshop uttering the above words. Programming is hard, but the bottom line, it's fun.
I think it's too glib. Hard fun is not always fun, sometimes it's just hard, frustrating, tear your hair out, why am I so stupid, why the hell did I ever start doing this, etc.
The challenge to transfer from Game Playing to Game Making in a school setting does make sense - there is a connection - but it is also problematic, there is also disconnection.
Yes, it's fun choosing sprites and playing games.
Friends in the class? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Good enough at programming to achieve the game I really want to build? Probably not.
Write a detailed design document before building my game? Not much fun here!
I've been talking to my students about this. Some say it's worth it because they are building a game they want to build and no one has ever offered them the chance to do that before in school. Others express some frustration. The programming can be hard and frustrating, the design requirements arduous and not anticipated.
I think it's time to trash my Game Making course slogan as false advertising: "Have fun while you learn!?" Maybe not. But what slogan should I use?