Minecraft: A reply to the NYT post

Dean Groom, Sept 17, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an angry informed response to a New York Times article titled Disruptions: Minecraft, an Obsession and an Educational Tool so ignore the typos and get to the sense of the piece. Which is this: the Times is pandering to people's fears without evidence or substantiation, and misunderstands in general the role of games in learning. "Kids play games because they want to. They choose the games because of what they need to resolve in their brains – and in response to their own life story. The fact you can teach maths with it, or build a Roman Fort is insignificant to me, and certainly doesn’t help parents deal with the anxiety and real behaviours of children around games. Kids learn about the world by playing it out." And it's precisely this which makes them inappropriate as 'teaching tools': "Minecraft is a fantasy, it has emergent narrative which would be immediately killed in the hands of … well teachers, or people who are not teachers, just enthusiasts." (Photo: Michael Citrone via The New York Times)

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