Microsoft has announced a partnership with Code.org that will bring Minecraft into the education curriculum.
Mojang, the Sweden-based game development studio that shot to prominence due to its work on Minecraft, was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion last year.
Founded in 2013, Code.org is a non-profit organization that seeks to encourage computer science uptake in schools, while also offering coding lessons through its own website. Now, Code.org is offering a Minecraft coding tutorial to mark its third annual Hour of Code campaign, which will run from December 7 -13, during Computer Science Education Week.
Aimed at learners aged six years and over, the tutorial introduces budding programmers to the basics of coding within the Minecraft platform. Gamers are then given a set of 14 challenges to dig into the coding concepts they learned during the tutorial.
“A core part of our mission to empower every person on the planet is equipping youth with computational thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO. “With ‘Minecraft’ and Code.org, we aim to spark creativity in the next generation of innovators in a way that is natural, collaborative and fun.”
Microsoft will also be leading “thousands” of Hour of Code events across the globe, which will be hosted in Microsoft stores, offices, among other facilities.
Given the enduring popularity of Minecraft across many age groups and demographics, the tie-up does make a lot of sense, as it lets kids apply their learning to something they understand. “This year’s ‘Minecraft’ tutorial will empower millions of learners around the world to explore how a game they love actually works and will inspire them to impact the world by creating their own technology or apps,” said Code.org cofounder and CEO Hadi Partovi.