When Markus “Notch” Persson made Minecraft, he probably never envisioned it to be anything other than a sandbox video game. When Microsoft acquired developers Mojang, people feared that, in typical Microsoft fashion, the company would integrate and then kill Minecraft. Both, however, were proven wrong. Surprisingly, Minecraft branched out into more, unexpected places under Microsoft’s stewardship, and it is now officially and formally an educational tool. But unless you’re a school or educational institution or a student, you really won’t be able to get your hands on Minecraft: Eduction Edition.
In truth, Minecraft’s simplistic art style and open world mechanics make it ideal for doing almost anything, with a few hacks here and there. Microsoft, however saw an opportunity for growing the game into a platform and taking it in more places. It has already launched a version of Minecraft, plus some tools, aimed at artificial intelligence research, and now it is doing the same for young learners.
Minecraft: Education Edition is basically Minecraft’s open-ended creative mode, sans possibly child-unfriendly content. The focus, however, is not simply building things willy-nilly but in solving problems, specifically math ones, inside the pixelated virtual world. Of course, it can still be used for creating art masterpieces and letting the child’s imagination fly.
Minecraft: Education Edition is only available for purchase for schools, libraries, museums, and accredited home-school organizations at $5 per user per year. Microsoft promises to continually update this edition with features from the Windows 10 Edition, sans inappropriate content, of course.