Liverpool research project turns globally loved computer game Minecraft into powerful classroom tool

Posted on 12 March 2014
By Jack Pearson
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Fans of Minecraft will have to drag themselves away from their computer screens and into FACT for an exhibition the game’s capability as a powerful learning tool in the classroom.

The exhibition will run from today until the 18th of March, displaying the work of Cloudmaker, a tool used to combine the child-friendly language of the game with the latest technologies in 3D printing.

3D printing allows entire objects to be printed out on a special plastic that binds together to create fully functioning objects. Complex engineering has been printed off, such as guns and model aeroplanes

It is a collaborative effort between Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design, supported by the Research Council UK’s IT as a Utility Network (ITAAU).

It will allow young people to develop their skills in coding, programming, design and collaboration. Visitors of the FACT will be able to see the results of research, give feedback and get involved in making their own Minecraft characters and tools from the game.

Created in 2009 by Mojang, Minecraft has sold over 14 million copies around the world, spawned a plethora of toys and merchandise and has its own annual convention: MineCon.

Cloudmaker has already received high praise from Ceredig Cattanach-Chell, a teacher at the Studio School: “This collaboration has given our students an opportunity to push the limits of games and use them in ways that they may not previously have thought of.

“They have developed team skills and personal skills and demonstrated the power of gaming and depth of learning and understanding that can be achieved through non-conventional ways.”

Ceredig Cattanach-Chell, Teacher, The Studio School