Dystopia! Coding Through Stories!

Dystopia! Coding Through Stories!

The Story

The year is 2153. In a world run by evil bots, it’s dangerous to be human. Lance, Freya, and their friends are trapped in the Rathouse Orphanage. Will they escape or will the Commander and his sidekick catch them?

I am always on the hunt for new tools, games and apps, especially in the coding space. I have recently stumbled upon a (Canadian!) coding gem that aims to integrate literacy and coding in a dark, robotic future. From the Dystopia website:

Inspiring the next generation of coders and storytellers

Coding + Literacy
Games + Graphic Novels
Dystopia 2153 connects 21st Century skills with the love of reading.


What I love about resources like Dystopia is the natural differentiation they provide. When designing lessons and tasks, the scaffolding is building in. No more printing modified resources for some learners or sending them to another room during math class. Dystopia offers that sandbox approach to learning – students read and play at their own pace, and learn to code along the way.

The Puzzles

Dystopia 2153 is powered by Google’s Blockly and features over 40 different levels of coding games. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry, Chiclet can help you through all the levels. And if you’re an expert, show off your coding skills by beating the high score.

Currently only Episode 1 is available to read and play which is very neat. Students can play along as new Episodes are released keeping them engaged further. This resource has special pricing for schools and offers a single year teacher license for $59.99 for 30 students.

While many educators continue to look for the best free resources, I take a slightly different approach. I have spent a great deal of my time in the last year or so looking more closely at Terms of Service and other “fine prints.” I have come to the realization that “free” apps must do something to monetize or they would lose out to the competition. The reality is if you are using a free app, you are the product being sold, not the consumer. As we approach the Internet of Things era, consider how much of our behaviour is tracked, monitored and sold.  The fact that Dystopia offers each Episode at a reasonable price gives me piece of mind when using it in class – as there is an end user price option too.


Dystopia has been wholly conceived, developed and produced by TEACH Magazine, a national, educational publishing company based in Toronto, Canada that has been operating since 1993.

From its roots in traditional magazine publishing, TEACH has evolved into a digital media development company creating cutting edge digital resources for teachers and students everywhere.

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