When you were young, you built an entire city out of blocks and after a day’s play you simply destroyed it. Although times change, young people can still create entire cities out of blocks, the difference now is that the “blocks” are digital and instead of putting the blocks in a box after playing with them, kids can actually see what they made in their real-life community.
Mojang, the creators of Minecraft (a game about block-building anything you could imagine), have teamed up with UN Habitat to launch Block By Block. The idea is to create real-word environments in Minecraft, so that young people show planners and decision makers how they would like to see their communities in the future.
(via New Kid on the Blocks: UN Habitat Launches Block By Block. | COUNSEL)
The idea of ‘digital lego’ is old enough that I’m fairly certain is was a concept in the 90s Douglas Coupland novel Microserfs. But Minecraft is the heir to this concept, and it’s been a runaway success in many, many ways.
When you see a Jane McGonigal TED talk about how gaming can save the world? THIS is why I get excited about what she’s talking about. Situations where a game is initially created as entertainment, and then adapted and reimagined as a tool.
Minecraft is being used in many, many places, in many, many ways. And it’s basically digital lego, with a game that drives action in the space.
There’s something beautiful about that.