24 Oct 2018

A Menagerie of Minecraft News & Links from Internet Librarian 2018

The following is a guest posts by Chris Markman, Senior Librarian at Palo Alto City Library in conjunction with PLP’s recently awarded Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, “Cybersecurity for Youth Using Minecraft”. This project is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library should be inferred.

Project Update

As you may recall from previous posts, last week I presented in a three person panel at Internet Librarian 2018 titled Making the Library Fun and Safe! A copy of those slides are available through the conference website.

The following is a list of relevant links from my slides, plus a carefully curated collection of browser bookmarks that I think librarians interested in using Minecraft Eduction Edition and/or leveraging commercial video game titles will find useful.

At the same time, I also recently watched this video from the Game DNA series by Ahoy on YouTube that I wanted to share. It  does a great job describing how Minecraft was influenced by earlier video games, placing it within the larger context of indie gaming and retro art style revival in the 2000’s, including the classic ASCII based Dwarf Fortress. If you’re looking for a quick way to introduce why Minecraft became popular, from a more objective viewpoint rather than fan nostalgia, this is the best video I’ve found.

Minecraft Specific

Geospatial and Minecraft – Why You Should Care
This links to an hour long webinar which explores the different ways GIS tools can integrate into Minecraft, including tutorials and industry examples.

Minecraft EduElfie: A Lesson Breakdown
From a member of the Education Edition community—some tips about lesson planning and how to support multiple skill levels in game.

What is MinecraftEdu – MinecraftEdu wiki
MinecraftEDU eventually became Education Edition, which I mentioned very briefly during my presentation. This pages provides a history lesson about the features that were originally there, and I think is useful to see as a snapshot of how EE has developed over time.

Minecraft: Education Edition is coming to iPad | TechCrunch
Spoiler alert! The iPad edition is available in your app store. If you’re interested in trying out the latest beta edition for iPad, let me know. 

10 Classroom Uses for Minecraft – The Tech Edvocate
A short list of examples to get you think about the different ways to use Minecraft as a classroom tool.

Leveraging Commercial Video Games

A Place to Just Play: A New, Vital Role for Public Libraries, Part 1 | Library Developments
An opinion piece about the “play deficit” imposed by modern life. There’s a Youtube link in there as well.

The Obscuritory
Treasure trove of lesser known video games and obscure titles.

This is the group that made MinecraftEDU and went on to create more cool stuff. Definitely check them out.

Education Technology Guides | EdSurge
EdSurge has a nifty product review section which includes video games for education. A great place to browse for inspiration!

Chapter 6. The Psychology of Learning Environments
Part of a free eBook from EDUCAUSE which talks about learning spaces and attention.

Here’s How Fortnite ‘Hooked’ Millions – Psychology of Stuff – Medium
A brief look into the reward mechanisms built into the popular “battle royal” survival shooter game.

Dance Mat Typing — BBC Typing Guide, Typing Test and Games
An example of what education and video games used to look like.

BBC NEWS | Technology | How gaming is all work and no play
RuneScape is an early MMORPG which was mentioned in one of the teen focus groups as part of this project. I’m including the link because it’s an article from 2006!

Community Builder’s Manifesto – Pamela Slim
More and more I’ve been thinking about video games in libraries from the perspective of community building. This link does a great job explaining how to make it happen.

Cybersecurity Education

How Data Privacy Lessons in Alternative Reality Games Can Help Kids In Real Life | MindShift | KQED News
Blind Protocol was an ARG mentioned in my talk which people seemed interested to hear more about.

results for “security camera” – The Cutting Room Floor
In the talk I joked that security cameras are everywhere in video games, here’s proof.

The Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds
A wonderful example of educational gaming. It’s free, browser based, and even multilingual!

Gamasutra: Raph Koster’s Blog – The Trust Spectrum
I did not get a chance to talk about this but the Trust Spectrum offers a design framework to consider while building game experiences.

Fortnite Now Gives You A Reward If You Turn On Two-Factor Authentication
An example of a video game rewarding players for better security practices. I think we might see more of this in the future.

U18-572 Funding Opportunity Title: Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace
Did you know NSF has an ongoing grant to support cybersecurity education efforts? Originally posted in July 2018.