Minecraft Madness

Minecraft madness has hit the library! Recently, I began hosting a Minecraft club for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. This program has been very well attended, no doubt because of the popularity of the game. I am definitely a novice Minecraft player and, each time I host a program, I learn a little bit more about the game. If you are not familiar with Minecraft, let me give you an introduction. Minecraft is a block-building video game where players can build anything they can possibly imagine. The game takes place in an open world and players have the freedom to explore and create. The most basic description of game play is that players need to mine for materials and then use these materials to craft their worlds. The world is formed with one meter cubes, called blocks, made from a variety of materials such as dirt, sand and stone. There is no storyline or set goals.

Minecraft can be played on many platforms including smart phones, tablets, game consoles and computers and has two separate game modes. In Creative mode, players can use unlimited resources to build anything they want. Using a full inventory of materials, players construct their worlds block by block. In Creative mode players have the ability to fly through their worlds. Players create tall structures without building ladders or stairs and with no fear of falling.

Survival mode is for players who want a little more adventure. The Minecraft world in Survival mode has monsters and enemies such as zombies, skeletons, spiders and creepers. Players must build shelters to protect themselves and find food sources to stay alive. Players can still build anything they want but they must first find, mine, and craft the tools and resources needed.

Why is a Minecraft club successful at the library? Minecraft is more than just a video game. In Minecraft, players can play alone or with a friend in multiplayer. My daughter and niece spent a whole weekend building an entire world together, complete with houses, pools, fountains, high dives, and an underground aquarium. At the library, players bring their own devices and share fabulous creations with each other. Even though our group ran into several connectivity issues where players could not play together in multiplayer, the kids still enjoyed talking about and sharing their worlds with friends.

Additionally, when I plan for the Minecraft club, I try to create a craft or game so that kids can have a little offline fun. We have played Minecraft bingo, answered trivia questions and created Minecraft ornaments. Participants at the program are always eager to find out more about the game. The library has many books available that fully explain the Minecraft world.

Guidebooks offer a great introduction to the game. Children can read about strategy and find solutions to any challenge they may face in the game.

Minecraft
Minecraft Essential Handbook by Stephanie Milton.

Minecraft Construction Handbook by Matthew Needler.

Minecraft Combat Handbook by Stephanie Milton.

Minecraft Redstone Handbook by Nick Farwell.

Minecraft Books
The Minecraft Guide for Parents: Down-to-Earth Advice for Parents of Children Playing Minecraft by Cori Dusmann.

Minecraft Blockopedia by Alex Wiltshire.

Build, Discover, Survive!: Mastering Minecraft by Michael Lummis, Christopher Burton, and Kathleen Pleet.

Markus "Notch" Persson: Creator of Minecraft by Tamra Orr.

These handbooks are for more advanced players who would like to learn about tricks, mods or hacks to the game.

Minecraft Handbooks
The Ultimate Unofficial Encyclopedia for Minecrafters: An A-Z Book of Tips and Tricks the Official Guides Don't Teach You by Megan Miller.

Hacks for Minecrafters: Command Blocks: The Unofficial Guide to Tips and Tricks That Other Guides Won't Teach You by Megan Miller.

Minecraft Hacks Master Builder: The Unofficial Guide to Tips and Tricks that Other Guides Won't Teach You by Megan Miller.

Minecraft Modding for Kids for Dummies by Sarah Guthals, Stephen Foster, and Lindsey Handley.

More Minecraft Titles
Adventures in Minecraft by Martin O’Hanlon and David Whale.

Minecraft Mastery: Build Your Own Redstone Contraptions and Mods by Matthew Monk and Simon Monk.

A Beginner's Guide to Writing Minecraft Plugins in JavaScript by Walter Higgins.

Finally, there are a variety of Minecraft novels available at the library. These books offer a fun way for players to read about and enter the Minecraft world. Here is a sample of what you can find:

Minecraft novels
Minecraft Survivor Series: A Minecraft Novel by Minecraft Novels.

Invasion of the Overworld: A MinecraftNovel by Mark Cheverton.

The Return of Herobrine: A Minecraft Novel by Minecraft Books.

Minecraft. The Secret Treasure: An Unofficial League of Griefers Adventure by Winter Morgan.

Minecraft. Quest for Justice: An Unofficial Minecraft-fan Adventure by Sean Fay Wolfe.

In the past few months, children have shared with me many elaborate Minecraft worlds and amazing structures including towers, cave houses and underground playgrounds. I cannot wait to see more!

-Briana C.

Comments

  1. Minecraft is also a great way to learn how to get started in coding for computer programming, as players are really coding the world they are creating and modifying. Moving on to a program like Scratch is easier after manipulating the sets in Minecraft. After trying Scratch, players could then move on to formal computer languages. So Minecraft is indeed more than just a game, it is a way to get players thinking like a computer program by providing an environment to practice their maker skills.

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