Jan 25, 2016 Update – Learn about the Alice interface and how to start creating your own worlds. (This is an older video, and the intro states that Alice is only available for PC. This is no longer the case, as Alice is available for PC, Mac and Linux.)
Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood DreamsYouTube Video. This is amazing and I highly recommend watching it with your children when they get old enough.
Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.
In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.