Yesterday was a big day at the school I have been helping out at. It was the launch of their Minecraft Club. The Town Mayor came along to open it, not by cutting a ribbon, but by knocking down a “Minecraft” wall.
Why is this important?
MinecraftEdu allows a level of practical engagement to the lessons children are taught. While we, now busily adulting our way through a day, know why we need to be able to construct a sentence or why we celebrate the 5th of November. To children, these are just words. They have no direct implication to them in their world.
Take the theory of algebra and apply it to how many trees are required to build fence to protect your entrance to a secret underground layer. Take the requirement of spelling a word correctly to surviving in your game world. Can your group work together to stay alive?
It’s just as possible to explore a science, say for example propulsion with the TNT(if you know the game you’ll know TNT!). The possibilities are endless within the game and the bridge to connect practical skills with theory is right there. From their perspective they get to play on all the mods they’ve seen the You Tubers using but can’t load onto their Xbox or Play Station.
Just like reading, learning can be fun. I often get asked why am I (the writer me) involved with this? As a writer the game can help explore P.O.V, relationships, character development, dialogue, narrative structure, right down to the core element of world building in a way that means something to people who don’t read, who have never been in a library but happily follow a plot in-game.
Everybody reads. We just read different things.