Brandon Boyer

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The best part of Ballmer’s CES keynote last night? It wasn’t the old hat Halo sequels and Xbox Live Primetime games — it was the announcement that not only would Microsoft’s game-maker studio codenamed Boku be officially released as Kodu, but that the suite would become an integral part of the Xbox 360 Community Games channel.

First demonstrated in March of 2007 and again brought to light in October of 2008, as above, the kit is meant as an introductory course to games programming (but done purely via the controller with simple formulaic logic): more LOGO (and including a turtle of its own) than LittleBigPlanet (to which it’s been most often and annoyingly/lazily compared).

What’s not clear yet is just how it’ll be delivered and how its sharing functionality will integrate into Xbox Live, but its bright pixel-organics (actually strikingly similar to Tibori’s Dotter Dotter art I mentioned in December) are a very welcome development, and there are few things on my 2009 radar I look forward to playing with more.

Kodu – Microsoft Research [press release, live project demo]

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