Minecraft is a sandbox video game. It is the single best-selling video game of all time, selling over 180 million copies across all platforms by late 2019, with over 112 million monthly active players. In Minecraft, players explore an intentionally blocky, pixelated, procedurally-generated 3D world, and may discover and extract raw materials, craft tools, build structures or earthworks, and, depending on game mode, can fight computer-controlled foes, as well as either cooperate with or compete against other players in the same world.

The game world is virtually infinite and procedurally generated as players explore it. There are four main worlds that children in Primary School are introduced to; namely:

  • Voyage Aquatic presents 12 unique challenges, focusing on how to use loops and conditionals, two fundamental concepts in computer science. The tutorial also includes a ‘free play’ level for participants to apply what they learn in the prior puzzles and use coding to build imaginative underwater creations.
  • Hero’s Journey will introduce concepts that power the intelligence behind interactive websites, games, and apps. You’ll learn to use JavaScript Instructions, Repeat Loops and Functions. Choose your avatar (Alex or Steve), and put your Software Agent to work for you!
  • Designer requires the player to perform an action on a mob, or have the mob perform an action, in order to complete the level. In higher levels, the player has to spawn mobs in a certain way. Minecraft Designer, like Minecraft: Hero’s Journey, has 12 levels.
  • Adventurer is the remaining scenario for Minecraft Hour of Code. In this scenario, the player must perform certain actions that interact with the world around them, such as shearing a sheep, planting crops, or building a house. This scenario, unlike the previous two, as 14 levels.

Minecraft lets students explore basic coding concepts and learn about artificial intelligence. It is is really good introduction to programming, especially for first-timers and then, if students wish, they can explore more progamming concepts in this world or elsewhere such as those offered by Lego WeDo, Scratch and Mindstorms, etc.


Author: Piers Midwinter
Piers Midwinter is a Qualified Teacher, Native English Speaker, ex-Company director, and ex-University lecturer. He lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
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