Building the world with MINECRAFT
Only if you’ve lived in a cave for the last couple of years, you may not have heard of Minecraft, the fastest‑growing online computer game.
According to the Minecraft website, more than 12 million people have already bought Minecraft and more are buying it every day. Not bad for a game that was released without any advertising, or the financial backing (= support) of large companies. Minecraft has grown in popularity all around the world, mainly thanks to word of mouth *1. It’s not an action game; it’s not a shoot ‘em up game. In fact, most of the time not much happens. So why is it so popular?
Playing in a sandbox
Minecraft is like a box of digital Lego, but it can do so much more. When you begin the game, you’re placed in a randomly generated world – you could be by the ocean, in a forest or by a cave. It’s been described as a ‘sandbox’ game, which means that you make your own fun with whatever tools you have, like a child in a sandbox with a bucket and a spade. There are no rules, no instruction manual and no ending – and that’s why people believe it’s been so successful.
Create and survive
The game has two modes, survival and creative. In creative, you have access to materials and can build amazing structures or lands. On YouTube, you can see some digital architectural wonders created in Minecraft – from the Empire State Building and the Taj Mahal to the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek.
In survival mode, you have to build a shelter to protect yourself from zombies, which come out at night. Every brick you have to find or make yourself, all the while watching out for dangerous monsters.
But whether it’s creative or survival mode, the world is your oyster *2.
Mining in the classroom
Teachers are even starting to use Minecraft in the classroom, maybe because it’s so creative and the possibilities are endless. For example, a classroom in the USA was studying Native American building materials, so they used Minecraft to explore how to use them. And an Australian science teacher builds models of cells with the help of the game. Other teachers are using it to teach computer programming or maths.
Why is it called minecraft?
The name Minecraft comes from two words: Mine (mining) means digging for something underground, like for coal or gold. And craft means making or building something. It could also be a play on the word mine, meaning ‘it belongs to me’.
Now use our forum to answer these questions:
- If you play Minecraft, what do you like about it?
- Imagine you could build anything and it would become real. What would you build?
Written by Jo Molloy (UK)
Originally published by BRIDGE PUBLISHING, Bridge Magazine, December 2013
BRIDGE je vzdělávací neinzertní časopis s dlouholetou tradicí. Je určen pro české studenty anglického jazyka na úrovni A1-B2. Obsahuje zajímavé články, komiksy, kvízy, ukázky anglických zkoušek, soutěže. Více informací naleznete na stránkách Bridge-online.cz
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