Getting Kids to Care About Their Communities through Gaming

We’ve posted before about the rise of gaming in every aspect of life.  Here’s a new twist:  The Atlantic Cities blog reports that the inventors of the game Minecraft (a “world-building” game) have created a version that lets kids in Stockholm develop ideas for the redesign of neighborhoods:

Minecraft is what’s known as a “sandbox” game, which means that it allows users to drive the narrative and action themselves. That’s what makes it irresistible to my kid and his buddies – and what also makes it an intriguing platform for exploring real-world urban planning ideas.

Last year, Minecraft launched a project called Mina Kvarter, or “My Blocks.” The program focused on Stockholm neighborhoods where outdated housing projects from the 1950s and ‘60s were due for rehabilitation. . . .

. . . .The Mina Kvarter project worked out so well that it caught the attention of folks at UN-HABITAT, the United Nations agency responsible for focusing on human settlements. . . Minecraft and UN-HABITAT have now announced that they are teaming up to work on Block by Block, which will allow people around the world to use the game to re-envision their neighborhoods – and to come up with concrete ideas that can be implemented by planners in real life. . . .

Read all about it here.

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