Minecraft: A Platform For Creativity, Education, and Inclusion


When it comes to video games, a single title wouldn’t typically be considered “the greatest ever.” But with the exception of the classics like Tetris, Mario, and Zelda, few games have been as influential and beloved as minecraft. It’s not just a wildly successful game, but an incredibly versatile platform for creativity, education, and inclusion.

Minecraft is a sandbox video game that allows players to create and build anything they imagine in three-dimensional worlds made of blocks. The game has two main modes: Survival and Creative. In the former, players are given little in-game supplies and must find their own building materials, hunt for food, and defend against blocklike mobs (such as zombies and Creepers) while experiencing a varying day-and-night cycle. In Creative, players are given unlimited in-game resources and can break any kind of block immediately.

Both of these modes provide unique gameplay experiences that encourage imagination and exploration, with the ability to learn implicitly through their play. For instance, if a player chooses to explore the Nether, a parallel dimension filled with lava and hostile mobs, they will likely come to understand the concept of resource renewal and sustainability through the act of mining for flora and fauna, which can then be used to construct sustainable farms in the Overworld.

The Nether can also be accessed through portals that can be constructed with redstone. These are particularly useful for players who are attempting to survive the game’s final boss, The Ender Dragon, as they will allow mobs to open pressure plates only when it is the creator that steps on them; this can prevent the accidental opening of booby traps that could otherwise be very dangerous.

In addition to allowing players to build anything, minecraft also gives them the opportunity to explore its vast universe and discover ruins, caves, and ancient cities. These places, along with the game’s biomes, can inspire a wide variety of creations, from architectural marvels to sprawling cityscapes and everything in between.

Besides exploring, Minecraft’s many game modes also offer different ways to engage with the game, from a more casual experience in Creative mode to a challenging survival adventure. The game’s cross-play capabilities also make it easy for families to stay connected through the pandemic and beyond. I’ve heard stories of children and adults staying close to family members through Minecraft, helping them overcome boredom and anxiety during quarantine, as well as creating new connections that can last for years.