Minecraft is considered a useful learning tool for developing creativity, logic, computational thinking and problem-solving skills. An enormous community of people has grown up around the game, teaming up to complete challenges or share experiences, making them into what could be thought of as a sort of extremely creative social network.
“The title says it all: the game is all about mining and crafting.The game is entirely based on pixels, making it surprisingly simple. It’s a world of “cubes” in which everything is made up of equal-sized 3D blocks, of different colours depending on what they represent, to be either destroyed or used as a building material.” “In Minecraft,” the curators explain, “you can put your skills to the test by building and bringing worlds to life that can be shown to the online community. It’s an interactive game where you can build to your heart’s content and express yourself freely, guided by your intuition, imagination and creativity.”
Hence, the link with the world of picture cards: through the collections and materials housed in the Museo dellaFigurina – connected to the concept of edutainment, since the aim of picture cards was to teach something in a fun way – a project has been developed with Future Education Modena to build a Minecraft (Java Edition) version of the museum, expanding and integrating the analogue museum experience through the video game. Users (whether experts or beginners) will therefore be able to interact with the collection through stations inside the museum or remotely, and have fun with a series of games, ranging from parkour to logic, which gradually get more difficult.It will be a real escape room containing challenges, puzzles and tests on the exhibition topics which will be updated for each new exhibition.
Furthermore, the Museo dellaFigurina will host an exhibition put together especially for the occasion, revolving around the main themes of the game, from exploration to crafting, through biomes, plants and animals, to monsters and fiery worlds. In every section, the Minecraft cards will be placed alongside the iconography of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century picture cards. A section curated together with an expert pedagogue will instead be dedicated to the “forerunners” of Minecraft and the evolution of building games, from Froebel’s gifts on, highlighting the role of play in cognitive development during childhood and beyond.
The exhibition is in collaboration with FEM Future Education Modena, international centre for innovation in education, which has developed the virtual version of the Museo della Figurina; Associazione Amici del Sigonio, set up to promote the artistic and cultural heritage of the Modenese school; andFondazione Tancredi di Barolo – MUSLI, the Turin schools and children’s books museum.