Just read Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything. Man, what a read! If you are a Minecraft fan, or if you want to know how it all started, get this book.
There’s a fair bit on his youth, family issues, and the first computer he learned to program, the Commodore 128 (yes, I had one. Loved that computer!). You can read this book for so many angles: a follow-your-dreams inspirational story, a history of the videogaming industry, a plea for indie games, or just a narrative of one of the most surprising success stories of the 21st century. And there’s a whole chapter on MinecraftEdu, the version I use in my Minecraft Club.
It’s such an unlikely game to sell millions of copies. But as I said in another post here, I have never seen anything like the response of my middle school students to anything that happened in my computer lab. When I asked for beta testers over lunch one day, I had a dozen students actually run into my lab to get seats and start. Why?
I think it’s the combination of imagination, strategy, open-endedness (copyrighted word), collaborative play, and funky old-school graphics. As teachers, we would be out of our minds NOT to find some ways to use this in our classes! The Google group of MinecraftEdu teachers is a great place to start.