Tens of millions of children (and many adults) play the virtual-reality game Minecraft. But can it be educational as well as just fun?
Students from Hull University have created an educational version of Minecraft that allows players to explore specially created molecular structures and understand chemistry.
The students developed the project with the help of Dr Mark Lorch, senior lecturer in biological chemistry, and Joel Mill, ‘the unversity’s Minecraft expert’. (Do unversities really have Minecraft experts?)
In Minecraft, players build buildings, structures, landscapes etc, so it lends itself to exploring chemical structures and molecules.
Dr Lorch said: “You can just explore and read the info about the molecules. But there are also a whole load of treasure chests dotted around filled with goodies, puzzles and quiz books.”
The game, called MolCraft, is currently being trialed in n a number of secondary schools in London as part of various university outreach projects.