Is Minecraft’s value as a stepping stone for kids coding overrated? Minecraft is an interesting take on the traditional first-person game, which has a similar concept to lego in that players use objects or ‘blocks’ to create the world around them. While allowing players to create their own ‘modifications’ (or ‘mods’) is in no way a new thing,
Minecraft is leading the way in encouraging young children to engage with their platform and create custom content – whether it be color, gameplay, or the landscapes. When kids are able to manipulate the environment by which they play and create their own custom mods, they become focused and engaged, learning at a much faster rate.
One of the main challenges in teaching kids how to learn coding is to keep them engaged and provide them with an incentive to pick up from their previous failures and keep trying. While kids quickly adapt to new stimuli, they rarely take steps towards mastering a skill. This is where an instructor or parent plays a key role.
In 2016 Microsoft and Code.org unveiled a Minecraft drag and drop coding platform, where visual blocks represent important computer programming functions such as If, and Then statements, Loops, and more. These concepts can often be tough even for the average adult to grasp.
Minecraft’s value is that it is fun and a easy starting point. Will it teach your student to code? No, it will not.