Microsoft Weaponizes Minecraft in War Over Classroom
Two years after buying the hugely popular video game, Microsoft is using Minecraft to scramble for children’s brain space and school money.
Subscribe Friday is our attempt to put news into context. Once a week, we’ll call out a recent headline, provide updates and explain why it’s important.Minecraft Not your average video game. It’s very popular, yes, with over 40 million people playing it every month. But Minecraft was a huge success: it’s a rare game for four to forties and it boasts more female players than many other hit games. The The second best selling game of all time, Minecraft has proven itself to be a enduring cultural phenomenon. It’s also unique because it’s no longer just a form of entertainment: its adorable textured cube world is officially becoming an educational product.
Microsoft has caught up with the company behind Minecraft, Mojang, in 2014. Since the acquisition, one of Microsoft’s top priorities for Minecraft has been developing it as a classroom tool. For years, educators have used the original game and its modded versions to teach subjects as diverse as ancient Roman history and computer programming. This versatility has made Ian Bogost, a professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a video game designer, appreciate. Minecraft as The equivalent of a Legos or a microcomputer for the younger generation.
One eye built in Minecraft Education Edition. (Credit: Xbox Wire) “The game is changing because of how it has disrupted the market and cultural barrier between commercially successful entertainment and educational games,” says Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist at the University of California, Irvine, who focuses on learning and new media. “Specific educational features of Minecraft – shared virtual worlds, construction tools, hacking capabilities – aren’t new, but what’s really new is the fact that it’s been bundled together in a bundle of kids, parents, and educators education on a large scale. “
This fall, Microsoft plans to weaponize Minecraft In the battle for thinking in the classroom by selling one educational publications. It could prove an unexpected advantage in Microsoft’s increasingly fierce battle with rival Google and, to a lesser extent, Apple in the education market. Microsoft’s Windows operating system still dominates the global education market, but the Google Chromebook, a cheaper laptop designed to run Chrome OS and mainly using online apps, has grown to dominate. classes in America. In 2015, Chromebooks topped 50% of PC sales in the US K-12 education market for the first time, with PCs running Windows at 22%, according to a Futuresource consulting report.
Microsoft has also partnered with Google on educational software, specifically for the management and grading of assignments. In April, it announced one Update Microsoft Classroom Its Office 365 cloud services represent a direct challenge to the Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education platforms. But one version of Minecraft Consistent with K-12 classrooms may prove the most authentic arrow ever in Microsoft’s quake as this tech giant aims to recruit educators and students.
At the time of acquisition by Microsoft Minecraft, the game was five years old and yes sold more than 50 million copies for PC, smartphone and video game consoles.
The game’s popularity grows in part because it’s accessible: many four-year-olds can start playing it with virtually no instructions. But advanced players stay engaged by exploring a complex world of in-game hidden mechanics and additional creativity through player-created mods. In the game’s Survival Mode, the player must cope with monster attacks while trying to exploit resources, ranch and crops; they also have to craft increasingly complex tools and technologies. In the Sandbox Style Creation Mode, the player can build a virtual version of the Eiffel Tower. Or recreate King’s Landing city from the HBO program Game of Thrones. Or build one working 32-bit computer in the game.