I have a "how does one get started..." question, which I see from the FAQ is not one generally accepted here, which is why this is on meta. Please bear with me a few moments, read, and then perhaps direct me to where the right place to ask is. Thanks
My 11 year old son has been asking me how he can create his own video games. A few relatively short search sessions reveals hundreds if not thousands of sites that dedicate at least some significant part of their real estate to this aim. I don't know enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
A couple of remarkable (to me) places/products that have floated to the top so far are Sketch and GameMaker. I found GameMaker by following links and discussions from the Gamedev.SE FAQ, and it looks to be a highly polished application with a track record and at least 2 highly reviewed books. Sketch doesn't have polish, but coming from MIT it certainly has cred, and not being a commercial venture it has a certain better-for-you-like-health-food kind of feel. The Sketch comic book intro would certainly go over well, though perhaps a bit on the young side.
I think either or both (and probably the few more I'll hear about after posting this) would engender more than a few hours of delight, entertainment, and learning. I do have some concern that they might be a gift of the kool-aid kind. I don't want to get my child hooked on a product, it's the process I'd like to feed. You know, game development.
So, are Sketch, GameMaker and their ilk islands or stepping stones for budding young would-be game developers? If islands, where or what are the stepping stones for this age?