Minecraft: so good, they made it compulsory

by Toby Manhire / 28 January, 2013
The enormously popular computer game is on the syllabus at a Swedish school. Plus, the man who hired a digital hitman.
As just about any 11-year-old will tell you, Minecraft is a blockbuster of a videogame.

The virtual-world game has sold more than 18 million copies online since its launch in November 2011. On Christmas Eve last year, reports the Chicago Tribune, the game sold more than 450,000 copies for PC alone. It also actually involves much busting of blocks.

And in one Swedish school, it is now compulsory.

After incorporating Minecraft into a national competition based on designing the ideal future city, teachers at the Viktor Rydberg School decided to install it in the syllabus for 13-year-olds.

“It’s their world and they enjoy it,” one teacher told Sweden’s English-language news site The Local. “They learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future.”

While “some parents were uncomfortable with the idea at first”, they had come around to the idea, recognising that “it’s a fun way of learning”.

Hekia Parata, you know it makes sense.





Many a Minecraft parent will attest to the struggle to ration their children’s screen time.

But the father of one keen gamer in China has gone to extreme lengths to curb his son’s habit, according to a report at the videogame news site Kotaku.

Alarmed at the time his 24-year-old unemployed son, Xiao, spent glued to online role-playing games, Feng sought out an “online hitman” – he “decided to hire players in his son’s favourite online games to hunt him down”.

Apparently, “Feng’s idea was that his son would get bored of playing games if he was killed every time he logged on, and that he would start putting more effort into getting a job”.

The tale ends disappointingly. The account by Kotaku, which itself draws on a report from a Chinese newspaper, concludes: “It’s unsure if Feng has called off his assassins or if Xiao has found a job.”

Sorry about that.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


The Trump family's Kremlin connection
76655 2017-07-24 00:00:00Z World

The Trump family's Kremlin connection

by Paul Thomas

From “nothing to see here” to a Cold War-era spy story played out in real life, the Trump family’s Kremlin connection is a source of fascination.

Read more
The Journey – movie review
76661 2017-07-24 00:00:00Z Movies

The Journey – movie review

by James Robins

A van isn’t a great vehicle for a drama on how old enemies ended the Troubles.

Read more
Gaylene Preston on the difficulties of filming at the United Nations
76664 2017-07-24 00:00:00Z Movies

Gaylene Preston on the difficulties of filming at …

by David Larsen

Tracking Helen Clark’s tilt for the top job at the United Nations, Gaylene Preston documented the creatures of the diplomatic world.

Read more
Jackie van Beek puts the gags aside for The Inland Road
76815 2017-07-24 00:00:00Z Movies

Jackie van Beek puts the gags aside for The Inland…

by Russell Baillie

Best known for her comedy roles, Jackie van Beek takes a dramatic detour in her feature-directing debut.

Read more
Parisian Neckwear plays the long game, even as its centenary approaches
76427 2017-07-24 00:00:00Z Small business

Parisian Neckwear plays the long game, even as its…

by Rob O'Neill

Parisian Neckwear, founded in 1919, has survived depression, war, deregulation and a deluge of cheap imports. How? Just feel the cloth.

Read more
David Tamihere case: Key witnesses' doubts about murder of Swedish tourists
76738 2017-07-23 00:00:00Z Crime

David Tamihere case: Key witnesses' doubts about m…

by Donna Chisholm

Nearly 30 years after young Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen disappeared in the Coromandel key witnesses say the mystery haunts them.

Read more
Modern slavery and tourism: when holidays and human exploitation collide
76728 2017-07-23 00:00:00Z Social issues

Modern slavery and tourism: when holidays and huma…

by The Conversation

With the advent of orphanage tourism, travellers think they're doing good. But they can often just be lining the pockets of the orphanages' owners.

Read more
The Polish resistance fighter who volunteered for Auschwitz
76750 2017-07-23 00:00:00Z History

The Polish resistance fighter who volunteered for …

by Glyn Harper

A Polish soldier volunteered to be incarcerated at Auschwitz so he could report on the Nazis’ activities inside the death camp.

Read more