Minecraft : How is the Game Shaping the Future for Thousands of Children?

Feb 23, 2024 | NEWS, GAMES, LESSONS


In the gaming realm, Minecraft emerged as a phenomenon from its inception, captivating audiences across diverse demographics. Unlike its counterparts, Minecraft’s allure continues to surge, akin to a snowball gaining momentum with each passing day.

Its widespread popularity has propelled Minecraft to the forefront of the gaming landscape, captivating individuals of various ages and interests. While lauded by many for its innovative gameplay, Minecraft has also faced criticism from concerned parents and educators, who decry its potential to foster time wastage, violence, and social withdrawal—a shadow cast over its otherwise stellar reputation.

Enter “Minecraft Education,” a strategic response from the game’s developer, Microsoft, aimed at dispelling misconceptions and underscoring the game’s unique value proposition. Yet, amidst these efforts, the question lingers: has Minecraft Education succeeded in reshaping perceptions and overcoming the stigma associated with the game?

Minecraft : How is the Game Shaping the Future for Thousands of Children?


Embark on a journey through the evolution of Minecraft, initiated in 2009 by Swedish developer Markus “Notch” Persson. Crafted with a modest Java-based interface, the game initially found its footing within niche programming circles. Yet, its innate charm captivated those who ventured into its pixelated realms, fostering a modest income that empowered Notch to commit fully to its development. Gradually, the game expanded its horizons, culminating in its official release in 2011. What ensued was nothing short of a global phenomenon. Minecraft’s allure transcended demographics, drawing in multitudes with its emphasis on boundless creativity. Within its virtual universe, players found a canvas upon which to weave their imaginations, forging unique structures and characters in unison with others across the globe. As the game’s popularity burgeoned, it cemented its status as a cultural icon, forever altering the landscape of interactive entertainment.

In under three years, Minecraft captivated global attention, notably drawing the interest of Microsoft investors who foresaw its vast future potential. This foresight prompted Microsoft to acquire the game in 2014 for $2.5 billion, establishing shared ownership with the developer studio, founded by Notch, known as Mojang, as reported by the Demand Sage website.

Since then, Minecraft has evolved into the colossal success we witness today, spawning numerous spin-off games within the same universe, including story modes and the Telltale Games series. Additionally, educational adaptations like Minecraft: Education Edition, launched by Microsoft in 2016, have further expanded its reach and impact.

Minecraft : How is the Game Shaping the Future for Thousands of Children?

Expert-led Education

Typically, when a game endeavors to offer an educational mode, it relies on the information the game developer wishes to impart to players, much like what Ubisoft did with the recent “Assassin’s Creed” games, which include an exploratory historical mode set in various time periods.

However, Microsoft had a different vision, one enhanced by the unique gameplay style implemented by Minecraft. Microsoft entrusted the task of education to education experts in over 40 countries and 10,000 schools and educational institutions worldwide.

According to Code Monkey, the game contains hundreds of pre-prepared educational programs developed by education experts in various fields, such as STEAM curriculum covering many fundamental sciences, specialized curricula in languages, history, and advanced sciences, as well as programming and various digital sciences, including learning experiences centered around cybersecurity in the third version of the “Cyber Safe… Good Game” initiative. It aims to provide a suitable educational environment for teaching children cybersecurity and the tools used in it, alongside behaviors that facilitate child protection and appropriate education.

Of course, pre-prepared educational programs aim to save teachers’ time and facilitate the educational process so that they can focus on assessing children and the homework they receive within the game. Thanks to the diverse tools provided by the game, educational institutions can access all the data and experiences that children encounter within the game.

A Truly Enjoyable Educational Experience

In an immersive experience that mimics the unique world of the game, each educational program unfolds within a different realm within the game. Through these worlds, children can play together in an experience that accommodates over 30 learners simultaneously, allowing for setting different goals for each learner and monitoring their achievement of these goals.

Minecraft’s gameplay greatly enhances these efforts, beyond the standalone educational version, as the game provides a fertile environment for creativity and building sub-games and worlds that serve any goal educational institutions seek to achieve, perhaps this was the real reason behind the game’s success.

The number of players and users in Minecraft Education Edition cannot be precisely determined, as Microsoft does not provide separate figures for the game and its experience. But among the 300 million players in 2023, the educational experience garners sufficient interest within the gaming world. If only 10% of its players are present in the Minecraft Education Edition, this means more than 30 million connected players simultaneously.

Accessing Minecraft Education Edition requires obtaining a special version of the game, which is essential for schools or educational institutions, as they acquire their own license. Through this license, teachers, students, and parents can access the game world, control it, and monitor their children within this world.

Minecraft - How is the Game Shaping the Future for Thousands of Children 2

Despite its integral role in the gaming experience, Minecraft Education Edition lacks sufficient publicity. Nonetheless, this very platform fosters creativity among children, enabling them to construct worlds autonomously, positioning Minecraft itself as an educational game.

While the gaming world’s stigma may persist, Minecraft Education Edition offers a prime opportunity to dispel it, showcasing how games, akin to individual tools, can serve educational purposes and positively impact users. Minecraft Education Edition continues to fulfill its purpose, with the launch of initiatives like “Cyber Safe: Good Game” serving as clear evidence. Hence, we envision a future where Minecraft emerges as a pivotal educational tool for children of all ages.

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