Minecraft: So what’s the buzz about it?

If you’re an educator or a parent, it’s likely that you’ve heard about Minecraft. It’s sold millions of copies within just three years and almost all kids are either talking about it or playing it.

So what is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a game that allows players to take 1×1 cubes and make virtually anything they want, whether it’s a farm, a castle, or a forest full of animals. For someone that likes direction and is used to playing games with levels, I wasn’t quite sure how this game could be so appealing. When I asked a girl that I tutor why she likes playing Minecraft she said it’s, “because I can make anything I want and see what all my friends make”.

Minecraft has such a strong influence on kids that some teachers have come to utilize it in their classrooms. A computer teacher in Manhattan has taken Minecraft and adapted it to be compatible within the classroom: MinecraftEdu. Kids are also drawn to other sources online such as Youtube as a means to learn more about Minecraft.

So how has Minecraft become so popular in such a short amount of time?

ACCESSIBILITY and INTERACTIVITY.

Accessibility is one of the main reasons that things go viral. Since Minecraft is available through tablets, computers, and smartphones, players can access Minecraft whenever and wherever they are. Minecraft players also use Youtube videos and blogs to access more information about Minecraft. Everything that you need to know about Minecraft is just one click away!

Interactivity is also a major reason why Minecraft has not only become popular, but also stayed popular. Players are able to use Minecraft either as a single player or multi player which allows for players to choose if they wish to interact with others and co-produce different things in the game. Youtube videos and blogs about Minecraft also allow for interactivity between players through being able to comment and share videos and blogs. The interactivity of Minecraft has resulted in a large online community of Minecraft players.

So how can teachers and parents use Minecraft as an educational tool?
• Read books about Minecraft with your children to encourage reading
• Teach basic math through counting objects
• Teach basic geometry through creating objects with the use of cubes

What other ways do you think teachers and parents can use Minecraft as an educational tool?

Please comment below! 🙂

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