Review: All About Scratch

Zakery Foard, Journalist

Scratch is a coding website created in 2007. Mitch Resnik, the creator of Scratch, was inspired by the work in the Computer Clubhouse (Go to the bottom for more info,) where children wanted to make games, animations, and interactive stories, but didn’t have the right tools. The first version of scratch was a small blog where you could post and play things you and other people have made. Now, it’s a much bigger website with over 74 million users and over 82 million projects! (2)

Mitch Resnik, creator of Scratch.

Scratch is very easy and simple to use. All you have to do to create code is drag some handy blocks together, and it will do whatever the blocks say, from top to bottom. With just two blocks of code, you can create an entire, very simple, game! To make more complex things, you will need many more blocks, backgrounds, and sprites. A sprite can be used for many things, but is generally an object that you can code. Luckily for you, Scratch has many pre-made sprites and backgrounds that you can choose from. I would recommend starting with something simple, like a clicker game or a short animation. Once you start learning how most of the blocks work, I believe the next step would be to make something a bit more complicated, like a platformer or an interactive story. After learning how everything works together, the only limits left would be the limits of Scratch itself.

Depicted is various blocks of code you can use in Scratch.

While Scratch is a very powerful coding tool, it does have a few limits. The first and most noticeable limitation is its’ lag. If you make a game with a large amount of code, it can start to lag Scratch. To fix this, you could try to shorten some lines of code, or remove some unnecessary blocks altogether. The second limitation of Scratch is that you need to have an internet connection to use it. If you open up scratch before you lose your internet, you can still play and edit whatever you have opened. To save it offline, you can download the project. The third limitation of Scratch is not being able to handle numbers that are too large. I’m not sure the exact number that makes Scratch break, but it has many digits, so you most likely won’t run into this problem, unless you are trying to make a calculator or something similar.

Even though Scratch is mainly for fun and creativity, it does have a few real world uses. It can help inexperienced programmers learn how code works, and give them even more interest in the subject. Scratch can also be used to make all sorts of things, such as presentations, calculators, and much more. The amount of creative freedom that Scratch has allows you to make almost anything useful, but most things will be less efficient than their counterparts. For example, a Scratch calculator will not usually be as fast as a regular calculator. That doesn’t stop the community from making them though!

The Scratch community is one of the nicest out there. Of course, like all communities, there are a few rogue individuals, but those aren’t very common. Most of the Scratch community is very kind, helpful, and supportive of anyone or anything they see on Scratch. There are many studios you can join, and you can join as many as you want. You can also follow any individual Scratch member to gain a link to their profile page right from yours, so you can quickly and easily see their latest content. Unfortunately, there is no direct chat system yet, so the only way you can chat with your friends is to leave comments on their profile page or their projects. One of, if not the most, famous and skilled Scratchers is Griffpatch. I recommend you check out their profile page and see the amazing content they have made. Lastly, I have placed a link to Scratch below so you can start your own coding adventure! Have fun!

(1) Click here to go to Scratch’s homepage!
(2) Click here to learn more about scratch!
(3) Click here to learn about the Computer Clubhouse!