Be a Minecraft creeper this halloween, $13

Minecraft Creeper

As I continue to search for a Halloween costume, I thought the kids might be more familiar with a Minecraft creeper!

A couple years back, Cory shared this DIY creeper costume. I don't have that level of commitment, but for $13 this might be a lot easier to wear than the Stay Puft Marshmallow man I've been considering.

My daughter finds minecraft a bit tough, I'm told its the version she is playing and I/we should try another. I wonder if she'll enjoy this...

Minecraft Box Heads, Creeper via Amazon Read the rest

An online Java course for kids, taught via Minecraft


At the beginning of the summer my son Ronan, age 12, and I built him his first high-powered gaming PC. Me being a dad and all, I did so happily, but with one proviso -- he’d have to dedicate time every day to learning a programming language. He was slightly sceptical of this, having taken a few less-than-interesting intro to programming classes in the past. Prepared for this, I recommended that we enroll him in Youth Digital’s comprehensive Java course called Minecraft Server Desgin 1. This got his full attention, as he had dreams of creating his own custom servers and gameplay modes to host Minecraft sessions with his friends.

We signed him up and dove in. Our immediate impression was that site and course are smartly designed and easy to navigate. All material is introduced through clear, well-produced, often funny videos that didn’t talk down him, but instead did a great job of walking him through new concepts, then pausing while he took pop quizzes and did hands-on coding exercises.  

The course includes a year of server hosting, 24-hour tech support (that was fast and helpful the few times he’s needed it), and perhaps best of all, a browser-based integrated development environment (IDE) for editing the game, player, and team Java files. Within this Codenvy IDE (Windows and OSX only), you can launch the updated server with one button, which makes it fast to test code and correlate newly learned concepts with the “real world” Minecraft results.

He chose one of the four pre-built maps, learned to modify the default server file description text, whitelisted a few friend, and launched his Minecraft server within the first hour of instruction. Read the rest

Father builds glowing life-sized Minecraft block for son's birthday


Nathan Pryor (HaHaBird) made this fantastic life-sized illuminated Minecraft block for his son's birthday. It's lit with RGB LEDs so the color can be changed via remote control. Read the rest

Kids in the Hall Minecraft tees

Tavie sez, "There's a tee shirt from the Kids in the Hall's recent tour that shows 5 KITH characters as Minecraft avatars. The Chicken Lady one kills me." Read the rest

Read Chris Ware's perfect description of Minecraft's appeal

The artist's 10 year-old daughter builds worlds and expresses her attitude to possibility in the infinitely-playful Minecraft universe.

The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event

Annual video game press conferences are often an assault on the senses, and on taste. We found the cool stuff for you.

Chris Ware's "Minecraft Playdate" cover on New Yorker


Did Chris Ware sneak into our house to draw this? That's my daughter on the beanbag. Read the rest

Why Minecraft Rewrites the Playbook for Learning

One of the world's leading experts in online education sings the praises of Minecraft as a tool for helping kids find and realize a passion for learning

Just released: Lego's own version of Minecraft


If the endless galaxy of Minecraft just isn't big enough, we've now got another virtual world to make our own (with bricks, of course): Lego Worlds.  Today Lego announced its "early access" release of its video game on Steam, currently available as a beta program for $14.99.

Just like Minecraft, the game features procedurally generated worlds where players can modify their surroundings to create whatever they like. Only this time, those worlds are made of Lego bricks. "Lego Worlds enables you to populate your worlds with many weird and wonderful characters, creatures, models, and driveable vehicles, and then play out your own unique adventures," the game's Steam page explains.

 Unfortunately for Mac users, the game is only available on Windows... for now. Read the rest

How big is the Minecraft universe?


Very big. Huge. MASSIVE. Read the rest

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection just $14

I reviewed this beautifully designed Minecraft boxed set of four hardcover handbooks in December. The price has since dropped to $14, which is a great deal. Read the rest

Burning Man temple to heal Ireland's Troubles, IRL and in Minecraft

David Best, who builds the enormous, gorgeous temples at Burning Man each year, created "Temple" in London/derry, where survivors of the Troubles have left memorials to their dead in advance of the temple being burned on Mar 21. Read the rest

Minecraft creator buys $70 million house in Beverly Hills

In September Markus "Notch" Persson, the 35-year-old creator of Minecraft, sold his game company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. This month, he spent 3% of it on a $70 million house in Beverly Hills. Read the rest

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

The beautiful packaging for Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection isn't the only wonderful thing about this box set. Read the rest

Plush Minecraft blocks

The 20cm^3 plush Minecraft TNT block is covered in suede-effect polyester and stuffed with soft foam; for something less explosive, try the Chest or the Log (or get the 10cm set with Grass, TNT, Diamond and Creeper blocks).

(via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

Interview with Minecraft composer C418

Ziad sez, "I interviewed C418; we talk about Minecraft's early days, the purchase by Microsoft, how the gaming community has helped him become a self-sustaining, independent musician, and creativity in the gaming industry." Read the rest

Microsoft to acquire Minecraft for $2.5bn

Tech giant Microsoft is to buy Mojang, creators of Minecraft, for $2.5bn, reports the Associated Press.

Launched in 2009, Minecraft is a sprawling, endlessly-replayable "sandbox" game that dumps the player in a randomly-generated abstract world. By exploring, gathering materials, crafting items and equipping their avatars, players can set about surviving hostile fauna, launching expeditions deep into ore-filled caverns, and constructing anything from huts to palaces, and even vast machines.

The phenomenal appeal and success of Minecraft -- just check our archives over the last few years! -- is hard to define, but it's been downloaded more than 100 million times since its inception. Created by Markus "Notch" Persson, Minecraft remains the most popular game on Xbox, and the most popular paid game on iOS and Android, according to the AP.

Yet that word hardly scratches the surface of the blocky world-simulator's Lego-like possibilities, though: a fact hit on by Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO, who said that it was "more than a game."

"It is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft," Nadella was quoted as saying in the press release. Microsoft expects to close the sale by the end of 2014, and break even by the end of 2015.

Microsoft also committed to keeping Minecraft available on all the platforms on which it is available today, including Sony Playstation and cellphones running Apple and Google-based operating systems

"Yes, the deal is real," wrote Mojang's Owen Hill at the company's official blog. Read the rest

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