In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 essentially shutting down places of learning for any number of people, Xbox has announced that the popular video game Minecraft is adding educational content at no additional cost. The exact content being added varies wildly, but in general, it seems to largely be previously existing content that was used in an educational version of the video game that is now being made free to everyone else.
"With hundreds of millions of kids at home due to coronavirus-related school closures more kids are going online to spend time with their friends, explore online worlds and learn through play," Xbox boss Phil Spencer states over at Xbox Wire. "Families are trying to navigate the need to help their children with distance learning and balance that with taking time to have fun. That’s why we announced today that we are adding a new Education category to the Minecraft Marketplace with free educational content players and parents can download."
We’re living in unprecedented times, but we’re all in this together. @XboxP3 has a message to share with the gaming community about what Xbox is doing to help. Read it here on Xbox Wire: https://t.co/8evr9ZFEeK— Xbox Wire (@XboxWire) March 24, 2020
To help our amazing teachers keep the learning going, we’ve made our favourite @PlayCraftLearn lessons available for free. Explore exciting topics like the International Space Station, marine biology and renewable energy with these immersive worlds:March 24, 2020
Basically, Minecraft is bringing in content from the already existing Minecraft: Education Edition for everyone to play around with for free. That includes, but is not limited to, a tour of the International Space Station, Washington D.C. landmarks you can visit in the game, and more. For a full rundown, you can check out the new Education category in the Minecraft Marketplace. All of this is free to download through June 30th.0comments
What do you think about the new free educational content in Minecraft? Is there anything else you'd like to see them add? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!
Minecraft is currently available to play on... just about every device imaginable. Minecraft Marketplace is available on any of the platforms that support the "Minecraft for Bedrock" version of the game. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the popular video game right here.