Minecraft is the world’s most popular game, and this popularity can be a force for good if used as an effective educational tool. Previously we have told you about Minecraft’s educational role in teaching life skills such as money concepts to children. Teachers are using Minecraft all around the world to help kids learn all subjects from math to geography. Now Minecraft teaches kids to be good citizens.
There is no limit in the ways educators can use Minecraft to teach children: recently a city in the UK has started a project in which children are to take over the running of their home city inside the virtual world of Minecraft. This is to encouraging young people to engage with local democracy and public services. This project which is called “Blockanomics” will us a Minecraft modification or “mod” allowing players to join an “executive council” to run the virtual model of Carlisle. Discussion forums, meetings and voting systems will allow players to work their way up through eight game levels, taking tough decisions about spending and public services.
Another very interesting application of Minecraft in teaching civic values to children is an initiative by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): PETA has joined Microsoft’s Minecraft, opening headquarters to protect digital animals featured in the game. Minecraft players will be able to access the virtual headquarters through PETA’s own game server starting on Saturday, Nov. 15. PETA’s Minecraft headquarters were created by a professional building group in the game, Hyperscale and is an exact replication of their main office.
“True to PETA’s mission— and unlike on other Minecraft servers— no animals, not even digital ones, can be harmed on our dedicated Minecraft server!” PETA writes. “Visitors to PETA’s custom-made digital island will explore vast expanses of landscapes where the animals of Minecraft roam free. They can also visit extensive vegetable and flower gardens, walk through a fantastic re-creation of PETA’s HQ, and discover an abandoned and decaying slaughterhouse.”
This is exactly what Genius Owl Minecraft Club is trying to achieve: offering your children the opportunity to use their favourite game to learn more, spend their time productively, and avoid the social isolation of playing alone at home.