Oh, stop it: BBC Breakfast alert parents to use of "highly addictive" Minecraft in classrooms

Minecraft 1.8: all about the bunnies.

The inexorable spread of MinecraftEdu continues. More than 3000 schools are now using TeacherGaming’s adapted block-rocking game in the classroom, and 200 of them are teaching children using Minecraft in the UK. 

Evidently, some of their parents are journalists - BBC Breakfast broadcast a special report on the game’s use in a Barnsley school this morning. It was a bit frustrating, frankly.

Reporter Tim Muffett - channelling another BBC production, Look Around You - approaches the game like the first man at the scene of a UFO crash site.

“School games lessons are taking on a very different meaning,” he punningly tells viewers - describing Minecraft as “highly addictive” on more than one occasion during the feature’s three-minute running time.

The lessons he’s investigating see primary-age children play Minecraft and then write down their experiences the very moment they log out of the game. Designed to help boys in particular engage with creative writing, it’s a celebration of emergent gaming in the classroom. It’s genuinely wonderful stuff to witness.

“Some games you have to stick to boundaries,” says one enamoured young boy. “But in Minecraft you can go wherever you want.”

That’s an expression of pure freedom. Is there any better advert for the medium? But here it’s framed as a cause for worry - immediately followed by a question about Minecraft’s addictive qualities.

If you're looking to add some new life to your Minecrafting, you should check out our twenty best Minecraft mods.

Asked whether MinecraftEdu are enabling an addiction, TeacherGaming CEO Santeri Koivisto was unambiguous: “No.” 

“We are encouraging teachers to use what kids are already doing at home for their advantage at school,” he went on. “They can use their natural motivation that comes from games at school, for their learning.”

They’re doing something right: TeacherGaming worked with Google on qCraft, a Minecraft mod pack designed to teach quantum physics. And they’ve since expanded their reach to include KerbalEdu - a space program for schools.

It’s clear BBC Breakfast take Minecraft seriously: they followed the feature with a chat on the studio sofa opposite Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart, senior lecturer of digital media arts at the University of Surrey.

 

 

But the report’s relentless angling is wearing. The implication is that Minecraft’s taking up valuable brain space otherwise reserved for essential skills like, er, handwriting. But the teachers are steadfast in their conviction that the game provides a conduit between children with short attention spans and their latent creative abilities.

To condemn that under a veil of objectivity seems a deeply sad thing to us. What do you think?

War Thunder
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Shriven avatarOcid avatarDog Pants avatarNihlusGreen avatarGeri The Epic Giant Ferret avatar
Shriven Avatar
3402
3 Years ago

NSFW

Dear BBC and reactionary gits in news media in general.. ahem...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK_a11bkPyk

3
Ocid Avatar
272
3 Years ago

Fucking mainstream media talking shite again.

Even though Minecraft never really got me I'd have loved to have shit like this at school. Maybe then I'd have cared about school

2
Dog Pants Avatar
1388
3 Years ago

When this sort of thing happens I placate myself with the knowledge that opinions like this are already an outdated minority, very few people believe it any more. Before long they'll be figures of ridicule like Mary Whitehouse or the PMRC.

2
NihlusGreen Avatar
603
3 Years ago

Haha I live in Australia and mainstream media does the same thing, spews out garbage warnings about all this dangerous new media, all the while their numbers decrease as they become more and more irrelevant

1
Geri The Epic Giant Ferret Avatar
1

Jesus christ. Here we go again, blaming video games for something completley unrelated.

Just like when people say "Oh, this one dude who was a pyschopath killed people? He played portal once? Blame it on portal, not the abusive childhood he had!"

If these people would actually spend some time paying attention, they would realize minecraft is a way to express yourself, and creative people like it. I myself am a creative writer and i like it because it has no boundaries. Cigarettes are addictive and kill millions? Are you doing shite about that? No?

1