The CodeSpells Story - Part 2

Tue, August 11, 2020
How did COVID-19 bring CodeSpells back?

If you haven't already, read the first part of the CodeSpells story.

But if you don't have time, here's the summary: the fundamental ideas behind CodeSpells came to me in early 2007, while playing a philosophical game called Nomic. In the following years, I built many prototypes of this game. With the advent of COVID-19, I've decided to resume development on it.

Admittedly, I can't really give COVID-19 all the credit. But I suppose we could say, "the stars aligned" -- and COVID-19 happened to be the final star.

A few other stars:

COVID-19 gave me time -- by forcing my small businesses (and everyone else's) to move online and to become very, very lean (if possible). Businesses are like organisms; they must adapt to this long economic winter, or they must give up and succumb to the cold.

My businesses (ThoughtSTEM and MetaCoders) used to teach coding classes in schools. As you probably know, America's schools are facing an uncertain future. Will they re-open? Will people get sick? Will they close again? And what will education look like in the coming months and years?

Luckily, my businesses are blessed with employees who are all technologically skilled digital natives or digital immigrants: We adapted quickly, moving smoothly into online education. I've been fortunate that the effects of these adaptations on my own work life have been largely positive: I have fewer moving parts to manage, fewer issues that require my attention, I no longer have to rent an office, and I've been able to catch up on years' worth of backlogged work.

Meanwhile, the persistent voice of CodeSpells has only grown louder since the novel coronavirus reached American shores. Amidst all the bad, I'm determined to do something good with the small gift COVID-19 brought: the gift of time.

- Stephen R. Foster

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