Monday, 18 April 2016

Minecraft - more than a game

So, I've never dabbled much in adventure or fantasy computer games,preferring the safety of simple number or word games. But I was intrigued by this article about Minecraft to which a friend directed me recently.
And, as ever, I saw in it all sorts of parallels for church engagement and, in particular, for Path of Renewal. 
These are just some of the insights:
Participants are creating, on their own or with others, complex virtual worlds, populated with elements that have to be figured out by others to discover how they work. It seems there is no limit on creative possibilities.
It is intergenerational though largely populated by younger people who inform others.
It encourages creativity, thinking laterally, building blocks that are both functional and aesthetic.
It is often surprising.
The Mine craft community is self governed - wreckers (or griefers) will be censured by peers and those who want to interact negotiate the rules of engagement together.
There are no official cheat sheets - though you tube hosts how-to videos.
There is no predictable outcome
With no blueprint, it is necessary to write the programme and the codes needed to make things work.
Everyone contributes to community shared learning.
There are lots of small communities as well as access to larger places of interaction.
It runs contrary to the quick fix, idiot proof world that is the norm in so many digital worlds today.
Players learn by engaging with it - there is no manual.
People who play build up a resilience, encountering failure regularly and having to rethink their strategy.
Creativity, problem solving, resilience - much, much more than a game.

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