Game brand Mojang is promoting a new edition of the highly popular Minecraft game by replicating elements of its virtual game-world environment in the real-world to help save coral reefs.
For the launch of its ‘Update Aquatic’, players can create new characters and underwater aspects including treasures, shipwrecks and colourful coral reefs. But of course in real-life the world’s oceans are under threat of permanent damage and extinction.
So Minecraft has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help preserve the coral reefs. Six designs from the game were created in the real-world as sculptures and anchored to the sea bed near Cozumel, Mexico. These sculptures were built from ‘Biorock’ which helps coral growth.
The brand has promised that as soon as the community has collectively placed 10 million coral blocks underwater in Minecraft, it will donate $100,000 to the charity.
At a time when our addiction to our mobile phones and devices is under more scrutiny than ever, academics have researched Minecraft’s approach to creativity, exploring its potential as a learning tool, saying that it allows students to ‘display their creativity and understanding of concepts in ways that are more feasible than if they were attempted in the “real world”. They also comment that because the game is ‘constructionist’ in nature representing a different type of instructional style that may well be appealing to younger learners. You can read the full academic study and report findings here.
Of course this is great PR for the brand, seen to be ‘doing good’ whilst doing business and it’s yet another excuse for your teenager to give if you’re trying to get them off the console – “just saving the world” – but it’s an interesting case study nonetheless.