Educational video games generally get a bad rap for being boring and stale, but what if we could use games that are already popular with children and teens to teach? The excellent PBS online-only series Idea Channel recently pointed their super-smart-hipster-glance at the intersection of education and gaming. The main thesis is that Minecraft – the open-ended game of virtual legos – could be, and IS successfully being used to educate in schools across the nation.
Mincraft allows players to use the game in one of two ways: Survival Mode and Creative Mode. Survival Mode is just like other games in that you kill bad guys while protecting yourself and your property. Creative Mode is where things get interesting and, dare I say, educational. This open-ended mode allows you to build, explore, and create to your hearts content. It is this openness that makes it ideal for teaching children and meeting them at their level. Check out the video below for the full rundown, and if you’re not already watching Idea Channel’s weekly video we highly recommend it.