Microsoft and Minecraft offering free lessons for stuck at home kids

Kids love Minecraft. Hey, I love Minecraft. I will still fight anybody who says it is not the single greatest videogame ever made. I still remember my first “night”, stuck in a tiny hole waiting for the sun to come up.

Ever since Notch coded the first blocks all those years ago, Minecraft has become a phenomenon. It’s spin-off iterations such as Story Mode and Minecraft Earth may have taken it off into more commercial directions but you cannot get away from the fact that the scope of possibilities held within the vanilla heart of the game is almost beyond comprehension.

I’m a grown adult and I built an arcade room with a massive window facing the sunset in the shape of a giant space invader. It took me hours and I still go back to it every now and then.

People have obviously built far better stuff than that and now, with the world’ds population of children all playing Fortnite at the same time, Microsoft is making its educational worlds available, free of charge.

Learning is fun - honest kids!

12 digital lessons can be downloaded until the end of June and include tours of the International Space Station and the inside of the human eye.

Kids will be able to play solo or with parents and within the worlds, there will be challenges for them to complete.

“Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for the half a billion students who are out of school due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft said.

“This is not an easy task and we want to do our part to help keep young minds sharp and stimulated.”

It’s at times like these when parents are homeschooling while at the same time trying to do their own jobs while working from home, that every little helps. So whether your young one is a Minecrafter or not, this is definitely worth a look.

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Been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. Spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written tech content for GamePro, Official Australian Playstation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Twitter: @iampaulmcnally

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