Minecraft is Food for the Mind

Worried since you're unable to separate your daughter from Minecraft? Concerned about your son's obsession over the ridiculously popular game? Minecraft doesn't really focus on a story line or making the graphics look great. It's not about blood, gore, slaughtering, and lethal weapons. In fact, it's full of other people, wildlife, trees, and various structures that appear to be made from digital blocks.

It's meant to represent the real world by including blocks that represent resources we see everyday. For example, dirt, wood, stone, mineral ores, and of course, water. Players need to dig and mine these blocks and collect enough of them to create shelter, weapons, and tools required to defend against enemies that come out at night. After they get past the easy stuff, kids can just let their creativity run loose and make all sorts of crazy stuff like teleporters, flying creepers or rain that comes up from the ground instead. During their initial experience, the young players can learn useful things such as computer programming, urban planning and development, architecture, math, engineering, physics, and much more.

Minecraft provides two core ways to play. Survival Mode will force you to get out of your comfort zone and try to survive with no initial resources or tools. Players must mine and collect resources like wood, stone, and coal to be able to cook food and create a small house as a temporary safe haven during the evening.

Creative mode allows you to just relax and create whatever you want, so you can make deadly traps, floating castles, rockets, and etc . Players have access to all building materials and even have the ability to fly, which makes building stuff a lot easier.

The game offers plenty of methods for players to make some relatively complex structures with useful functions. The most popular and is "redstone," which conducts electricity and can be used as a signal to activate logic based operations. For example, it can be used to open a door when a player stands in a specific place such as on top of a pressure plate or piston. There are all sorts of variables and operations, which makes coding inside the game itself possible. One of the most impressive feats was a working computer made with redsetone logic circuits within Minecraft.

Kids can also learn other advanced skills through modifications, or "mods" in the game that allow them to actually alter the code that affect how the game runs. It really can be anything, from making the earth turn purple to spawning creepers from the sky.

Released in 2009 by Swedish developer Mojang, the game has accumulated over 100 million players. Today, over 70 million copies were sold for PC, consoles, and mobile devices combined. Indeed, Microsoft was so amazed that it ended up buying Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014.

Nowadays, teachers all over the nation utilize Minecraft in a way the world probably never would have thought possible. Schools have used the game to increase engagement and retention with much success, especially in fields like math and science. Most importantly though, the kids were the ones who really made Minecraft into what it is today. By being a part of large online community and sharing tutorials, codes, and designs, the players helped each other online and made the game absolutely amazing.