The benefits of children learning Minecraft
I’m sure all our readers are fully aware of what Minecraft is. Or rather have at least heard your kids talking about it at home, in the playground, and wherever they get the chance too!
However, for those of you that don’t know, Minecraft is a very popular video game in which players create and break apart various kinds of blocks in three-dimensional worlds.
So what is so good about it? Why are children obsessed with it? And should we be encouraging play? Well, quite simply yes! As far as non-violent, educational games go, Minecraft is arguably one of the best and can teach children the fundamentals of programming skills!
There are many features of the game that make it a brilliant STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning tool for young people. Engineering is definitely a big factor, as the main focus of the game revolves around creation and building. In their minecraft world they can build literally anything they can imagine. They can recreate places they know from the real world, books and film or even create places completely new. The possibilities are endless for creation! The game also ensures that students learn how to collaborate in a team, solve logical problems and develop digital art projects, which are invaluable STEM skills.
Another core factor why Minecraft is so beneficial for children to learn and one of the main reasons we teach it at BlueShift is because it also involves code. Students can customise the game through ‘modding’. Modding involves altering the original programming code of the game and can be used by players to enhance the game. Designing these mods involves learning Java, the programming language in which Minecraft was built (and one we teach at BlueShift). As students work to improve the game environment, they can even be learning a coding language!
Even looking into higher education, a study conducted at Glasgow University linked playing Mineraft to future university success. Their research found that people who played the game were able to show increased communication, adaptability and resourcefulness scales - all skills that are seen as being key for graduate success.
So what’s next? Want to learn more about Minecraft? Have a look at the resources below that are great starters for Minecraft beginners and also great for teaching current Minecrafters more skills.