Since Minecraft was created a decade ago, the game has gone from strength to strength, gaining an amazing following, and currently has over 100 million users every month. The sheer scale of Minecraft shows how it has been embraced by people of all ages. But in many circumstances, Minecraft is not just seen as a game. It can be educational and in some cases is literally changing our world.
Block by Block is an initiative that involves Minecraft creators Mojang, their corporate parent Microsoft and the United Nations agency UN-Habitat to help communities around the world change their surroundings and improve their quality of life. Here we discuss a bit more about their projects and how amazing it is to see Minecraft be used in such a beneficial and creative way.
Block by Block started in 2012 and is a community project that involves using Minecraft in order to plan and design public spaces that are then turned into reality.
Why have they chosen Minecraft?
One of the things that makes Minecraft so appealing is its ability for the user to have complete freedom on what they build. They are not restrained like they would be with other games or programmes, and Minecraft can be used to plan public spaces that are to scale with 3D simulation in a cost-effective way. Minecraft also has the advantage of being easy to use and available for people from all backgrounds, ages and levels of education to follow. In some cases, the participants involved may not have used Minecraft before and have perhaps never really interacted with technology before, so being easy to learn is a great advantage. Once the projects have been planned out on Minecraft, the decision-makers can use these designs to estimate costs and budgets.
What public spaces do they create?
The types of projects Block by Block has previously worked on range from waterfronts to public squares, gardens, playgrounds, parks and more. The joy of Minecraft is that the types of project they are designed is essentially limitless.
How does it work?
There is a Block by Block Methodology that they use in order for these projects to be created. They receive hundreds of applications each year and they have to be evaluated before one is chosen to move forward with. It is important that the people chosen to be part of the project are firstly people from the local community that will directly benefit from the project but also people who usually do not have a huge say in what happens to their surroundings. This usually means a high number of children, women, refugees, residents with disabilities and elderly people are asked to take part. Once they have been taught the basics of Minecraft, the participants are put into teams to develop their ideas which they then present to stakeholders that include urban planners, architects and local councils who then make the final decision. So far, they have undertaken projects that have spanned 30 countries including the US, Lebanon, India and Indonesia to name but a few.
By involving the local community, you are creating public spaces that the residents actually want and also provides them with a sense of pride and allows them to work together to create something that will benefit others in their community for years if not generations to come.
How CreeperHost gets involved
We at CreeperHost are so proud to be a sponsor of Block By Block. We provide them with servers on which to build and it’s great to see the work they are doing across the globe. Pontus Westerberg, Digital Technologies Expert at UN-Habitat says “We are very grateful to CreeperHost for providing the server space for our Minecraft builds.” Former President of the Board of Directors at Block By Block, Eugenio Gastelum Pons also said “For the past 5 years the constant support from CreeperHost has been an invaluable tool to develop the model for the Block By Block workshops. Also, it’s servers have been a key element in big workshops like the ones in Mexico city in 2015 and 2016 with more than 7,000 participants developing in a Minecraft multiplayer environment and more than 3,000 projects at the same time. We are grateful with CreeperHost for their support and reliable servers”.
What Block by Block is doing is literally changing lives and their projects are not only leading to physical creations, they are empowering people to make decisions that impact their local community as well as teaching them a new skill. We are pleased to be able to help them achieve these amazing things by proving them with the server space needed and cannot wait to see what they will continue to achieve in the future. There is no other game currently out there that has this global impact on people and seeing the different ways the block-building game is being used in such a collaborative and effective way is inspiring.
With Minecraft proving how versatile it can be, it is clear to see that the cultural phenomenon is not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon due to the versatility, function and enjoyment it provides millions on a global scale. If you would like to learn more about the Block by Block project then visit https://www.blockbyblock.org/.