Not just fun and games

Minecraft is, in many ways, today’s Lego – and more.

A  New York Times Magazine feature, headlined “The Minecraft Generation,” explains how the game is inadvertently is teaching a generation of children about coding, problem solving, and civic literacy.

From a marketing perspective, the game has been successful in spite of (or, really, because of) its lack of clear rules. Because you essentially teach yourself the game, learning as you go along, online communities have sprung up where players share tips and tricks. Those communities have fostered a deep loyalty to the game.

Some also suggest that Minecraft has become a “third place” for kids – somewhere they can go to be free.  Not only are they mentally free in that they can escape the scrutiny of parents and teachers, but also they experience a sense of physical freedom as they move unrestrained through a virtual space, doing whatever the hell they want.  This is in stark contrast to the “real world” where fearful parents often limit their children’s wandering.

Brilliant article about how a simple game has complex roots in human psychology and is possibly making an impact far beyond what the creator of the game ever imagined.