Since Minecraft was recently released on the Nintendo Switch, I have been having a great deal of fun with it. However, it lacks one major feature that really brought the prior versions to life, in-game audio chat.
Now, the Switch version of Minecraft is brilliant in how it implements local multiplayer. That is amazing fun and really brings you and your friends together.
This is to my mind at least one of the best aspects of Minecraft, the joyous sense of working with friends to just make and create stuff.
That said, when Minecraft originally came to the 360 back in 2012 one of its most powerful features was the ability to communicate with friends with in-game audio chat. Talking with them online meant you could co-ordinate your efforts and build all manner of magnificent structures.
Being able to work and converse with your friends on the 360 version of Minecraft is still something I think is wondrous. To this day, I cannot think of a more genuinely lovely multiplayer setup than that in the 360 version of Minecraft. It was just so good to make stuff with friends and have fun.
Much of what made that work was its in-game audio chat for online multiplayer. While the Switch version partly offers its own route with local multiplayer options, the online setup feels like it is missing a crucial feature with the lack of in-game audio chat support.
Much of this is down to Nintendo’s unified and somewhat surreal setup for its online functionality, something that has still yet to be rolled out in its entirety.
However, the corollary of this is that Minecraft on the Switch is badly hobbled by the absence of in-game audio chat.
Like many gamers, I have all sorts of friends across the globe and we often play games together. The Switch definitely caters for local multiplayer games in a truly unique way but Minecraft needs full online support if it is to truly shine on this new console.
If you know kids in elementary school, chances are they are obsessed with the video game Minecraft. But unless they attend Gladden Farms or Quail Run Elementary, they are not getting school credit for playing the game.
As part of the Code to the Future computer science curriculum, students at the Marana Unified School District schools used the popular video game to learn about computer coding. This is the first year that the MUSD schools have been a part of the Code to the Future program that integrates computer science into the curriculum to make learning fun while giving students a boost in a career-fiel that is growing faster than the qualified workforce.
While working with computers and robots is fun and helps motivate students, that’s not the only benefit. The program helps students learn math, reading, collaboration and typing. Some classes have been able to integrate art, social studies and other subjects with computer science.
“They are engaged,” said Quail Run Principal Andrea Divijak. “ They are enjoying their learning. It has brought a whole new level to teaching them to think critically and corroborate.”
Quail Run parent Jose Martinez has seen his daughter Jade become inspired by the new concepts.
“She has had a lot of motivation,” Martinez said. “She even sets her alarm clock for 6:30 to get on the computer. She is motivated to get on the computer and to start creating, creating, creating. Right now, it is a way to enhance school.”
Martinez said since the implementation of Code for the Future, his fourth-grade daughter has been talking about going to college, something she rarely mentioned in the past.
Other staffers have seen children who struggled in the classroom become far more confident and engaged. Divijak shared the story of one special education student who was not engaged in the classroom, but became a resource to other students in the classroom with the addition of the computer science program. On a recent tour of the school, students sought district district officials to show off projects.
“That would never have happened before,” said Divijak.
The program requires students to complete three “epic builds,” or major projects. The first epic build involved a block coding program like Scratch, where students would create code to get the computer to accomplish things. Younger students made simple animations, while older students created full games.
Several sixth graders said the first project was their favorite.
“I liked Scratch because you had to figure out the exact code, because if one thing went wrong the whole thing went wrong, and it was like a puzzle,” said Quail Run student Mandy Stutzman.
The second epic build involved Lego Robotics. Younger students used Lego blocks to learn sequencing, while older students built and programmed their own robots.
One of the most popular aspects of Minecraft is the customization aspect that allows players to manipulate and create in the game, which turns out to be an effective tool for students.
Younger students learn basic one-word commands that can be entered into the game to create different actions. For example, kindergartners learn how to make the game world go from day to night by entering in a simple code. Other grades learn how to change the weather or change colors.
Beginning in fourth grade, the students learn the common computer language Java to pro-gram the game. Only 5 percent of high schools offer Java classes, while students at the two MUSD schools are learning it in elementary school.
The older students are learning how to create their own blocks, 16x16x16-pixel grids, and then import them into the game. Students must first design the blocks, then use Java to insert them into their Minecraft world.
There were a wide variety of designs, including flowers, butterflies, faces and various geometric patterns. One fourth-grade class was studying ancient Greece, so that class was required to build temples that resembled the ones in ancient Greece. Sixth-grade students had to not only create and import the blocks, but had to create commands so that their blocks did a variety of actions depending on how they coded them. All of the older students also had to learn to use code to modify and change their worlds. While most of the students had previously been exposed to the video game, this opened up a number of new ways to play and enjoy the game, while also immersing them in Java code, which is popular due to its use across the world.
Students are motivated by learning how these skills can be used in a future workplace.
“I like it because it is a fun way to learn something that could be used in the future,” said sixth grader Owen Heisey.
Heisey said he not only looks at video games and technology differently, but he is now seriously considering a career in computer science down the line.
“It makes it seem more open to me because now I know actually how to do it,” Heisey said. “There are a lot of jobs in computer science.”
Marana is expanding the program next year, incorporating more schools as well as expanding it to allow students to collaborate with students from other school districts
The wacky world of Adventure Time is headed to all versions of Minecraft. Mojang has cleverly teased the game’s next mash-up pack with a recreation of the Adventure Time intro made entirely in Minecraft.
There’s no word on just when Jake the Dog and Finn the Human will be busting into the blocky world of Minecraft, but the land of Ooo will arrive sooner rather than later. The Ice King, Princess Bubblegum, and Adventure Time’s other candy creatures and its cadre of princesses are presumably on the way as well.
Look for the Adventure Time mash-up pack to hit the Minecraft on Pocket, Windows 10 and console editions relatively soon.
Minecraft is getting Adventure Time‘d in a delightful mash-up pack that turns the blocky world into a brighter, more Adventure Time-y world for a blocky Finn and Jake to explore.
The announcement video above shows off what the new Minecraft Adventure Time mash-up pack will look like while mirroring the show’s opening theme. We also get a glimpse at some of the series’ most popular characters in Minecraft form: Finn, Jake, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, and the Ice King.
The pack, which doesn’t have a price or a release date yet, is coming to mobile, console, and Windows 10 versions of Minecraft “soon.”
Minecraft’s Adventure Time Mash-Up will include themed blocks, music, character skins and more. You’ll be able to play as Jake, Finn and countless others. (Tree Trunks not yet confirmed.)
There’s no word on a release date yet, but the pack will be coming to all console editions of Minecraft, plus Windows 10 and mobile. Redododiculous.
There’s going to be some ‘free’ all over Xbox One and 360 Live this weekend, specifically between May 18 to 21. During that period you can play online without Gold membership, and there’s also a limited time unlock of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition to play.
To get involved with the Multiplayer All-Access event you just need to log in, and obviously download Minecraft if you haven’t already. Then enjoy a weekend of free multiplayer and block building. After it’s over you’ll have to cough up the cash or go do something else.
Still, if you’ve not paid to try Live before it should give you a taster, and if you’ve not played Minecraft yet then… wait, how have you not played Minecraft yet? How is that possible?
Considering Minecraft has sold an outrageous 121 million copies as of February 2017, chances are good that you’ve already tried it once or twice. But if you want to take a spin in Minecraft on Xbox One, that version is free to play this weekend. In addition, the Xbox Live online service is currently free for everyone on every game until May 21.
If you own an Xbox One, you can now download Minecraft for no cost from the Xbox store. In addition, players who don’t subscribe to Xbox Live have the opportunity to play any multiplayer game on Xbox One or Xbox 360.
There’s only a short window to check out Minecraft or play with your friends; once it hits 11:59 PT on Sunday, May 21, you’ll have to shell out $20 for the game and $60 per year for Xbox Live.
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has offered free weekends; the company has offered Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, NBA 2K17, and Rocket League, among others,Xbox Live Goes Free For The Weekend Alongside Xbox One’s Minecraft in the past. Meanwhile, on PC, Guild of Dungeoneering currently has a free weekend going on.
Parrots are a relatively new addition to Minecraft, and currently are fed using the game’s existing chocolate cookie item.
Feed two nearby parrots, like any other Minecraft animal, and they will pop out a baby.
In real life however, far from being an aphrodisiac, chocolate can be lethal to parrots. Because of this, many Minecraft fans have raised concerns the game might encourage young players to feed pet parrots a sweet cookie treat and inadvertently kill them.
A reddit post calling for Minecraft’s parrots to be patched has now received 37k upvotes on the official Minecraft subreddit – enough to become the board’s most-upvoted post of all time, and for Mojang to take note.
“If Minecraft has any effect on children’s behavior, we want it to be a positive one,” Minecraft lead creative designer Jens Bergensten told Motherboard, “so we’ll change the item used to breed parrots.
“Our reasoning for originally using cookies was twofold; it gave cookies a reason to exist within Minecraft, and it was a subtle reference to the Nirvana song ‘Polly.’ However, we didn’t consider what the chocolate ingredient would mean to real life parrots!”
Parrots are currently only available in the game’s PC version. There’s no word yet on when they’ll land on console – or what they will soon be eating instead.
Minecraft activities will be taking place at libraries in Tenby, Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock during May half-term, giving children the opportunity to get together and chat about all things Minecraft!
Meet new friends, share ideas, and learn new tips and tricks from our selection of Minecraft books.
Children can bring along their own tablets if they are already using Minecraft at home, with a limited number of iPads available for anyone who is new to the world of Minecraft.
All of the events are suitable for children aged eight and over, with parents and guardians very welcome to join in the fun!
Booking is essential due to the limited availability of equipment. Refreshments will be provided.
For further information or to book a place, please contact Kath Woolcock on 01437 776 098 or e-mail [email protected]
The sessions are as follows:
Tuesday, May 30 (3.30-4.30 pm) – Minecraft at Tenby Library; Wednesday, May 31 (3.30-4.30 pm) – Minecraft at Haverfordwest Library; Friday, June 2 (3.30-4.30 pm) – Minecraft at Pembroke Dock Library.
NINTENDO Switch users have discovered a strange new bug that has cropped up since the Minecraft release date.
Nintendo Switch owners have been hit with a strange new bug since the release of Minecraft Switch Edition.
“I figured it was maybe a Minecraft bug, but then it was taking the random screenshots within the Switch’s operating system menus while the Minecraft app was closed and not running.
“So now it is very slowly filling up my storage with screen captures that I never took.”
Bizarrely, the issue first cropped up during a Minecraft developer livestream, although it doesn’t seem to be limited to the app.
Nintendo is yet to officially acknowledge the issue, but fans can expect a fix soon.