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The following is a summary of notes taken during a co-design session with a 10-year-old boy that focused on his experience playing Minecraft and how it might relate to the design of an education-based toolkit for self-reflection (MyL3).


  • Likes to use “mods” in Minecraft because otherwise the game is “kind of bland”

  • Uses the word “trajectory” to describe his goal or path in the game (a sense of how to work incrementally towards a desired state of the character)

    • I decide my trajectory - if I want to be a miner, I need a pickaxe, if I want to be a fighter, I need a sword

    • My brother plays Minecraft for fun, not really with a trajectory

  • When asked how he figured out how to build something the first time (i.e. a pickaxe)

    • “I have all the handbooks in Canada, I followed them”

    • I learned from other people - “friends at school and stuff”

      • We play games like Pitforge (it’s a server)

      • We use Skype

    • Sometimes I just try some things

    • I also teach ("I'll show you how I think I got better")

  • How do you know you’re getting better?

    • I don’t die constantly

    • Also, I know when to fight and when to flight

    • If there’s a player with a diamond armour and diamond sword he’s gonna kill the guy

    • “You experience stuff”

    • A “newb” - I’m happy to help

    • "and I found out other things from other people, and now I consider myself very good"

    • Has been playing for 3-4 years

  • In the beginning - they used a big chalkboard and they would tell Mom what’s in the village and they’d list them all - every day for a week they’d each build something - they would choose e.g. the town hall, the armoury - they were on the same server, building in the same space

    • This allowed them to work together, to plan and prepare together

    • Too much openness can (over time) cause some anxiety and frustration and doing some of the co-creation they did in the kitchen helped keep them focus and have some structure

    • Note: This can be done to some extent within minecraft with Minecraft Education

  • How to make school more like Minecraft?

    • School would be more of a survival thing

  • Something  like Minecraft to help with school subject - like math - how would it work?

    • Maybe with Minecraft edu? how many cobblestones do you need to build a furnace? You could have all the students on the server doing math equations. And there is a “set trajectory” set by the teacher.

    • Doing math or spelling words to build tools ? don’t want the math just plunked on top - how to integrate it more? Something like “Math Wizard”

  • Why do people like Minecraft so much?

    • Because it’s so open

    • Some kids don’t like it for that same reason - they like other games

  • Do you ever start all over again? Or do you always build on what came before?

    • Yes and no

    • I Sometimes do

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