Multi-award-winning Minecraft is a game of survival. You don’t ‘level up’; you build, explore, and survive whatever comes at you by placing blocks and going on adventures, either alone or with classmates. As you do, you explore, gather resources, craft, and fight for your survival.
At the core of every action is problem-solving: Minecraft encourages kids to tinker.
“You’re not complaining to get the corporate overlord to fix it — you just have to fix it yourself.”
It can be played on Linux, Mac, Windows, XBox, PlayStation, Wii, iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi, Kindle Fire, and probably a few more digital devices. It can run in a variety of modes. The default one — called ‘traditional’ mode– — includes six options:
- Survival mode–players gather includes resources (such as wood and stone) found in the environment to craft survival items. Depending on the difficulty, monsters spawn in areas outside a certain radius of the character, requiring the player to build a shelter at night.
- Hardcore mode–a variant of survival mode that differs primarily in that it is locked into the hardest gameplay setting. When a player dies on a server set to hardcore mode, the player is banned from that server.
- Creative mode–players have access to all of the resources and items in the game through the inventory menu, and can place or remove them instantly. In this mode, players focus on building and creating large projects.
- Adventure mode–designed specifically so that players can experience user-crafted custom maps and adventures.
- Spectator mode–players can teleport to other players in the world.
- Multiplayer–uses player-hosted and business-hosted servers and enables multiple players to interact and communicate with each other on a single world
“Never dig straight down.”
It can also be run in Story Mode (a narrative-driven adventure developed by Telltale Games where the decisions made by players influence adventures) or Realms (a simple way to enjoy an online Minecraft world with an approved set of friends–the owner of a Realm needs to pay a fee). Also available is Code.org’s Hour of Code Minecraft adventure.
“One does not simply play Minecraft for half an hour.”
There are over 100 million registered Minecraft players and it’s the third-best-selling video game in history, after Tetris and Wii Sports. The great news, just out this summer: Now it’s freemium (free at first with stipulations), courtesy of Microsoft. Minecraft Education Edition is designed specifically for classroom use and gives teachers the tools they need to use Minecraft in their lessons.