There’s a Doctor Who Coding Game…But You Can’t Play It

February 4, 2015

6:30 pm

The Next Web reported on Monday that the BBC recently updated its online game The Doctor and the Dalek, which aims to teach kids the essentials of coding in an engaging, Gallifreyan fantasy. It also reported that the game will now be available on iOS, Android, and Amazon, thereby allowing kids to get their Doctor Who fix while on-the-go rather than only getting the opportunity when in front of the computer. The only problem? You likely can’t even get access to this Doctor Who coding game.

Launched in late 2014, The Doctor and the Dalek is a free online game that engages kids in rudimentary programming – introducing kids to instruction-based Boolean logic puzzles through sequential evaluation, loops, variables, and if/then conditionals of increasing difficulty – as laid out by the United Kingdom’s recently implemented coding curriculum in schools. The key point in that sentence: United Kingdom; only those living in the U.K. can actually access it, which leaves many of us American Whovians rotting away in our Doctor Who coding game deserts, unable to provide our kids with the basic coding skills only a Dalek can teach.

The game was developed as part of the BBC’s Make It Digital initiative, which focuses on getting young people engaged in digital technology and on inspiring them to consider The game was released in October, and it seems that the BBC has yet to make the game available (if ever) to the American public.

In the United States, meanwhile, we’re still trying to make improvements in our STEM curriculum in order to catch up with other countries in the West. Unlike the UK, the United States has yet to establish national curriculum guidelines for programming, which speaks volumes on our commitment pushing our youth towards the edge of innovation. For his part, President Obama’s statements during this year’s State of the Union address regarding science and technology’s essential roles in accelerating economic progress, convey a renewed focus on supporting initiatives in those fields (although, one can’t ever really rely on things said during the SOTU).

If you do happen to be in the U.K. then you can download this great Doctor Who coding game now for iOS, Android, or Amazon.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.