How video games can teach you to code

By Ashley John - Digital Marketing Consultant.


Whether you work in digital marketing, SEO, or web design, a knowledge of coding is crucial. While digital marketers can get away with knowing basic HTML and CSS, it's always handy to know as much code as possible. I know that digital marketers are renowned for being fervent learners, and they're not happy unless they're learning new skills. It's for that reason that I've decided to compile a list of my 5 favourite video games that are all about coding, programming and hacking, so you can have fun while learning new skills!


When you first gaze upon TIS-100, your first instinct will be to shut down your computer and throw it out of the window. TIS-100 looks as much like a game, as a cactus looks like a delicious afternoon snack. Marketed as ‘the assembly language programming game you never asked for’, TIS-100 is all about rewriting corrupted code to repair the Tessellated Intelligence System and unlocking its mysteries. Yes, despite having a 1980s DOS aesthetic, this is a game with a narrative, but to discover it, you’re going to have to consume a pretty hefty reference manual.

TIS-100 is not a game for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely a rewarding experience.

Human Resource Machine

Have you ever become so adept at doing something that it feels like you’re on auto-pilot? That’s the general conceit of Human Resource Machine; it’s a game which requires the player to programme workers so they automatically complete tasks. The cynicism of this game, which literally treats workers as drones, is balanced out by a quirky and attractive art style. Human Resource Machine is a game that sucks you in with its charm before you realise the implications of what you’re actually doing.

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy places you in a cyberpunk universe where you’re armed with a hacking deck – it feels futuristic, but the tool of your trade is straight out of the late-80s and early-90s; your deck comes equipped with an impressive 256k RAM storage!

Can you break through high-end security systems with your top-of-the-line hacking deck? Of course you can!


Alien is one of my favourite films of all time, and it’s for that reason that I adore Duskers. I’d go so far as describing it as one of the best games I’ve played in recent memory.

Duskers is a sci-fi horror game, which has you piloting a series of drones into derelict spaceships in what can only be described as a futuristic graveyard. Duskers involves piloting drones using Command Line interfaces, and hoping that you can survive the experience!


Most people who have heard of Minecraft will assume the game is mostly about building elaborate architecture, or in most cases, failing to do so. However, recently people have discovered that they can use in-game tools to create a series of mechanical products through programming. People have managed to create functioning desktop computers, including working keyboards and hard drives, calculators, and even music boxes capable of playing entire songs!

Who knew you could do so much in a game for children?

While we recommend all of these games as a way of getting to grips with coding interfaces, if you truly want to learn about coding languages, we highly recommend Codecademy, a free programme which can teach you HTML, CSS, JavaScript and even more complicated languages in easily digestible lessons.

Of course, if you don’t have the time to learn how to code, you can always leave it to the professionals. Whether you’re looking for someone to manage your digital marketing campaign, or to create a new website, we have the know-how to help you succeed. Get in touch today for more information.


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