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Minecraft: The video game kids should waste time on this summer

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Screenshot by “Kerry J” at Flickr.com (Creative Commons licensed).

(Read caption) Screenshot of kid-created builds on the Massively @ Jokaydia server in Australia (the young players and parents are all over the world, though).Screenshot taken by “Kerry J” at Flickr.com (Creative Commons licensed).

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Reporters and reviewers write about Minecraft as if it’s just like any other video game. Even this highly readable piece about its creator (Markus Persson, aka “Notch”) and its parent company (Mojang) by Harry McCracken in Time magazine doesn’t cover what makes it different from other games specifically for its kid (and parent) players. But he does bring out this extraordinary differentiating factor:

“No less lofty an authority than the United Nations sees Minecraft as a tool to improve human life. Last September, its U.N.-Habitat agency teamed up with Mojang to launch a program called Block by Block. It will use Minecraft to digitally reimagine 300 run-down public spaces in the next three years, giving people who live near them the chance to chime in on how they might be improved. First up: a dilapidated park in Nairobi’s business district and parts of its Kibera slum” (Kibera is home to some 1 million people – see this).

 
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