WATCH: 'Minecraft: The Exhibition' - An Educational Tool & Community Builder
At its core, Minecraft is an entertainment outlet, allowing players the freedom to build whatever they want, or work to stay alive while exploring creative and survival modes. But the title has earned a ‘more than a game’ reputation because of the way it’s been used as an educational tool and as a means to shape community.
“It’s really changed my outlook on how video games are played and how they can be used as kind of devices to generate community,” says Jacob McMurray, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum of Pop Culture. “It’s a game that really inspires. It’s a game that tries to do good things in the world in real life.”
At MoPOP’s Minecraft: The Exhibition, “We really want to show visitors what is possible in Minecraft,” says Brooks Peck, the museum’s Senior Curator. When it comes to the field of education, what’s possible with Minecraft includes using the game to develop lesson plans and experiences that help students learn basic math principles, physics, geometry, and storytelling.
“What makes the game compelling in the classroom is exactly what makes it so fun for players around the world,” says Deirdre Quarnstrom, General Manager, Minecraft Atlas, Microsoft. “It’s an open world, there are no rules, there’s this feeling of freedom and curiosity, and that’s exactly what educators want to see when students are learning.”
Outside of education, Mojang, the Swedish video game development studio behind Minecraft, recognizes that it’s the game’s vibrant and diverse community of players and creators who are responsible for making Minecraft into the pop culture phenomenon it has become.
“The spectrum of what you can create inside Minecraft, the opportunities are limitless, and I think that really inspires people to look deep within in terms of really expressing their creativity inside the game,” says Helen Chiang, Minecraft Studio Head, Microsoft. “We have this large community of creators that really use YouTube as a medium to showcase the amazing things that they build inside the game.”
Check out more of Minecraft’s impact on education and community in the video embedded above.