Most of this was discussed in the main thread again but lets have a discussion among the group, from what I've read Python could be a great starting point, Java would be my second choice.
A nice list giving some ideas of Pythons potential can be found here highlights include:
World of Tanks
Python is also helped with plenty of content even at a first glance: Game dev in Python PDF Book Code Academy for Python Programming arcade games in python Google dev video series
I second python. [It's the only code I've used with some degree of sucess.]
Code academy looks good, I may give that a go.
Never tried python but up for giving it a go. A quick look around the net suggests it's needs some additional libraries like PyGame to work properly for our needs. My gut says you want to be very sure of your game design and programming concepts to get past hello world in this. But that's the same for almost any real programming language that isn't a souped up game design engine/creator like Scratch.
It might be worth starting with Scratch to get some basic game concepts and ideas down and test some rudimentry code logic before stepping into Python?
I like python as a starting place as it's interpreted not compiled. [Obligatory XKCD]
IMO, I'd rather get to grips with the basics of the language before moving on to more specific things. Once you know the syntax, it'll be easier to do the majority of the code.
Also, while codeacademy is awesome... It has a problem. I managed to do the first one, but now all I'm getting is the loading wheel. Apparently, it's a know issue.
I'm going to try it at home to see if it's specific to here, if it is I may just grab python and install it.
I'm thinking some sort of side scroller, a very basic one might it be it could teach many basics even if we start off with a stick figure running a landscape thats basically lines for platforms then expand on that.
I set up Visual Studio last night, but did not get as far as to trying it out. I also started with the Goggle Python tutorial! All good so far and looks like it could be straight forward to pick up!
+1 to what bondbill said, a basic side-scroller that you can move, 'jump' and have platforms and a finish line would be the best starting point I reckon. Always better to start off small and expand rather than attempting to dive into the deep end first, I guess.
That 'Star Pusher' game seems pretty awesome in terms of seeing how physics can be used in Python. I like how it reads the levels from symbols in a text file.