How Minecraft Teaches Kids Real-World Skills
The point of Minecraft seems simple: build practically anything you can imagine. Some kids recreate famous pieces of architecture, others express their creativity through grand designs. Since 2009, Minecraft has sold over 20 million copies. And if that seems like a typical blockbuster, don’t be fooled — it isn’t. Graphics are boxy and blurry, and sounds are primitive at best. So why do kids obsess over it? I gather a handful of 5-to-13-year-olds. First, some basics about the game. Players begin on any number of randomly-generated terrains — square blocks that make up deserts, mountains, prairie and even clouds. When night falls, mobs of monsters — spiders, zombies and skeletons — chase them with a single-minded purpose. Minecraft is an open-ended “sandbox” that doesn’t come with instructions, so the gameplay is confusing — but that’s what makes it irresistible. John tells me he tries “new moves to learn new things.” It’s all a blur to me. But Minecraft has potential pitfalls, too.
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