JAXI THE RO­BOT

Adam Dunn’s Jaxi the Ro­bot game

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Dunn

In­spired by his 4-year-old daugh­ter, Adam Dunn of Span­ish Fork started de­vel­op­ing Jaxi the Ro­bot as a way to teach kids to code. Part of his per­sonal phi­los­o­phy is to “Give Back”, and Adam, ac­tive in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and a mem­ber of the Span­ish Fork-Salem Cham­ber of Com­merce sees help­ing young­sters is his way to give ser­vice.

Now the pro­gram­ming game has earned the Span­ish Fork res­i­dent a spot in Salt Lake City’s Comic Con con­ven­tion and $20,000 as the win­ner of the Utah Game Wars com­pe­ti­tion, or­ga­nized by Zions Bank and Grow Utah.

Dunn, who is self-taught and says learn­ing to pro­gram gave him di­rec­tion as teenager, de­signed Jaxi with girls in mind, as he no­ticed over 80% of his co-work­ers and IT as­so­ciates were male. At www.jax­ither­obot.com, the pink ro­bot is ejected into the ro­bot junk­yard at Blue­Bot In­ter­na­tional, and play­ers must guide her through chal­lenges and ob­sta­cles us­ing Javascript.

“Jaxi’s story is a metaphor for the state of our world,” says Dunn on the game’s Kick­s­tarter web­page. “Why is the ra­tio of boys to girls in en­gi­neer­ing so dis­pro­por­tion­ate? Why are there so many boy robots to ev­ery girl one? This game an­swers that ques­tion and shows that there should be no dif­fer­ence be­tween boys and girls in cod­ing.”

Cur­rently, Adam Dunn’s de­vel­op­ment of Jaxi the Ro­bot is be­ing pro­moted through a kick­s­tarter cam­paign at Jaxi: the Ro­bot by Adam Dunn — Kick­s­tarter.

“This year’s se­lec­tion process was very in­tense,” said T. Craig Bott, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Grow Utah. “We nor­mally se­lect eight fi­nal­ists, but there were so many out­stand­ing en­tries this year that we could only agree on 10. That speaks to the level of ma­tu­rity of Utah’s startup dig­i­tal me­dia and gaming com­pa­nies. Th­ese are bright de­vel­op­ers not only with out­stand­ing cod­ing skills but good business sense.”

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