Saturday, March 26, 2011

To Proceed in Minecraft I Need Some Brain Construction

Trying to orient myself and move through space in Minecraft feels odd, unfamiliar.  I haven't experienced space in this way before and it is difficult to connect the movement of my fingers to my brain and then to my screen.  I almost feel as if there is a pathway missing in my brain and that once it gets built I will able to move effectively.

 I am becoming somewhat better, but my primary strategy for movement is to blast things out of my way. A life skill perhaps, but one with limited benefits. I haven't yet figured out how to move up to higher terrain. Tried jumping with the space bar. Up. Down.

I've blasted out a hollow cube and now can only go round and round which means that I'm trapped.   Why isn't the tree falling on my head? I've taken the base away.

Why doesn't the tree fall?
Insight number two: gaming forces me to problem solve.  There are no shortcuts, no easy ways around the problem.  I can't even pretend that I've solved the problem and go on to do other things.  If I am to proceed, I must figure this out. Abandoning this process is an option, but not one I'm prepared to take.

I will need to develop strategies, and I really do not have a great deal of schema to apply to this situation.  My main strategy so far has been to ask my students for assistance, but I would prefer to figure this out on my own.  Where do gamers go to get assistance with their problems?

I looked at a video for beginners on Youtube, but it wasn't truly a beginner video.  The producer had made all kinds of assumptions about the viewer's knowledge that did not apply to me.  Again, I think of my own teaching practice.  What assumptions do I make about my students that prevent them from learning?  That is truly an uncomfortable thought!

It seems I need the prequel to the introductory video. The one that shows the keyboard and how to use it to move through space in Minecraft.  Does it exist?  


  1. Gamers talk to each other. Kids learn from each other outside the game. :D Think about how a younger child might pick up a dinosaur or a pokemon. Then they gradually build up an encyclopaedic knowledge of all this information. But where does it come from? By playing and learning with each other. Game based learning is social learning, not just within the game but most definitely outside the game in real life. One problem with old-school curricula is that it's not interesting - it has no relevance to everyday life. Kids talk about pokemons in the playground. They don't talk about the lessons that happen inside the classroom.

    My question is - why can't we make it interesting and fun? Why can't we sneak relevant stuff into a learning experience so they *are* passionate about creating strategies and solving issues?

    - Ian

  2. I can see that talking to others is key. After I was finally able to place blocks, I realized that all that left me with(after the initial moment of satisfaction) is more questions. I went in armed with questions for my 11 year old teachers today only to find the site blocked. We engaged in discussion as they attempted to answer my questions and I've arrived home armed with some ideas. What I'm loving is the level of interest in my progress and learning from other students. They ask how I'm doing, if I'm making any progress. They've taken an interest in MY learning and are giving me encouragement and feedback. How is that for role reversal!