That’s right, in its quest to be absolutely everywhere ever, Minecraft is now taking over the classrooms of our schools.
Ah, Minecraft. The humble little title was originally released way back in November 2011, and nobody could really have predicted what a phenomenon it would become. Rather than cutting-edge visuals or throwing all the teraflops it has into looking as flashy as possible, Minecraft doesn’t look like very much at all. The key to the whole thing, however, is imagination.
You (don’t) come for the horribly pixelated graphics, but you stay for the incredible potential of this sandbox world. Creative players have spent an obscene number of hours crafting vast, detailed structures — heck, whole vast, detailed worlds — in Minecraft. There are different modes of play and a more conventional story to follow, but mining and crafting is really the name of the game — quite literally, in fact.
We know all of this, though. We know what a pop culture marvel the game has become. As we reported earlier this month, it’s sold an astonishing 170 million copies across the various platforms it’s available for. There’s also a Minecraft movie on the way because of course there is (although it’s not due for another three years).
While the game may have been a little overshadowed by more recent gaming phenomena like the mighty Fortnite, it’s not about to disappear by any means. In fact, in one school, it’s just become more relevant than ever. Yes, the ABC School of English in Pulawy, Poland is using Minecraft to teach its students the language.
As The First News reports, the central concept behind the revolutionary teaching technique is “[using] the popular game to help their students learn English by checking their understanding through clickable multiple choice questions, listening exercises, and questions that require the student to type in their answer.”
In a world where so many students are apathetic about learning, it’s crucial to try and connect with them and allow them to relate and engage with the material at hand. The school’s Director of Studies, Sean O’Connor, clearly puts this idea at the forefront of the initiative, explaining, “if you want to teach them, enter their world.” Could there be any better way to enter the world of children today than to teach them through the medium of Minecraft? Absolutely not.
According to the report, The ABC School of English has demonstrated its work to reps from Minecraft, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard, “who are now considering introducing it to their Minecraft Education platform.” Some positive news about video games and their effect on the younger generation? Say it ain’t so!