By Mojang

Genre: Sandbox, Survival

Interest Level: All ages love this game

Awards: Innovation Award, Best Downloadable Game Award, and Best Debut Game Award, Audience Award and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Teaser: What if you lived in a world that was completely your own? Start with a randomly generated island and become a master builder in Minecraft!

Summary: Minecraft is a game where the player gathers resources and crafts tools and materials in order to build something. There are environmental factors of the game such as enemies that can harm the player. However, when the player dies, they simply respawn in a different part of the island. There is not an overarching plot that the player follows in the game. It is an open world and the player is free to build or tear down whatever they want. However, there is also the choice to have multiple players play in the same world. That would mean that all of the resources and buildings are subject to the whim of the other players. It also means that several players can work in unison to create bigger buildings or towns. Once the player has created something that they are proud of, they can go online and share what they have made with the Minecraft community.

Information about Developers: From Mojang’s website, they describe themselves as, “Mojang AB is a games studio based in Stockholm, Sweden.We were founded in 2009 by Markus “Notch” Persson. He’s also the creator of our best-selling game to date: Minecraft. Since then, we’ve released our second game, the card-collecting tactical battler Scrolls, and have dabbled in publishing with Oxeye Game Studio’s awesome side-scrolling robo-blaster Cobalt. We’re developing more games, too, but we’re not ready to talk about those quite yet. In 2014, Mojang was bought by Microsoft. The acquisition hasn’t changed much about our company – we still release and support our games on multiple platforms, including iOS, Playstation and more, as well as Windows and Xbox. We plan to keep our independent spirit and we’ll continue to treat our community with the respect and honesty it deserves.”

Critical Evaluation: I think that Minecraft is an entertaining way to learn about some different skills. While the graphics are very low and poor quality, this game teaches the player about exploration. In the game, they explore the world and terrain of their randomly generated map, but then players have to go outside of the game to move forward. They have to go to Minecraft websites in order to find out how to make a certain tool or item. As stated above, players have the opportunity to play with other people online. Collaboration becomes a huge part of the game, but there is also the risk of losing everything. Players find out that just like in the real world some people are mean and will steal from them. Minecraft is considered a very educational game for children and young adults because it lets the player have the control over the environment and the type of game that they want to play. It gives players a sense of accomplishment when they create something on Minecraft because there is a a strong community of players that share their creations with everyone.

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalk Ideas: N/A

Challenge Issues: Video Games in the Library

Challenge Resources: Rationale for choosing this book (see “Why Did I Pick This”), Engage students and parents in discussions about intellectual freedom, ALA Library Bill of Rights,Challenge Resources from the American Library Association

Why Did I Pick This: I picked this game because it is a good game for multiple players. Teens get the chance to create their own world in their video game and it might give them a much needed feeling of control.  Another aspect of the game that I like is that it is a sandbox game which means there isn’t an ending. Teens can potentially play this forever since it is mostly about crafting and building.

Minecraft. (2011). Stockholm: Mojang

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