With more than 54 million users, Minecraft focuses on allowing players to explore, interact with, and modify a dynamically generated map made of one-cubic-meter-sized blocks. How does a game with graphics worse than your Sega Genesis become one of the most popular video game in history? Well, the game is easy to learn and places no limits to creativity.
“Its like playing with Legos without worrying about stepping on them,” says Shad Stanger, one of the many Minecraft players. The Minecraft video game is also unlike any video game on the market because it doesn’t entice or manipulate users to buy add-ons later on. The game is only limited to the players creativity. While there are monsters (Mobs) and may be scary or overly frustrating for younger children, singleplayer contains no coarse language unless manually typed, no sexual or drug references, and no gore. When you defeat a mob, it simply turns red, falls over, turns to dust and blows away. Not only are moms giving Minecraft the seal of approval, but schools too.
Minecraft can have huge educational benefits for children; it can help teach numerous subjects both with and without adult involvement, including reading, writing, math and geometry. Some schools have adapted the game for children to use in the classroom.
“I have heard of many teachers using it in 5th and 6th grade to help students understand basic math and construction principles.” says, Andy Dutton, a 7th grade teacher at Willow Creek Middle School, in Lehi, Utah.
Kids are able to apply what they learn from their teacher and use them to be in Minecraft to improve their building skills and creativity. Since Minecraft place no limitations to what you can and can’t build, people of all ages have taken the challenge to create intricate replicas of real structures, from the Eiffel Tower and sports arenas, to complete cities. Latter-Day Saint have also caught the Minecraft wave and created LDS temples and buildings.
“A temple building people” is one of the many names referring to Latter-Day Saint members, but some are taking temple building to a virtual level. Shad Stanger built a 3D replica of the Oakland California Temple, complete with gardens and surrounding walkways. The whole project took him six months to complete.
“I decided to make the Oakland Temple because I didn’t serve a mission and I wanted to serve in a different way. I knew the Minecraft community was big.” Minecraft videos have become widely popular in the YouTube community. “Why not use that in a positive light?”
Links listed in Shad’s video descriptions direct inquirers to sites like mormon.org, and lds.org where they can learn more about why Mormons build temples. Many others like Shad are using their Minecraft creations to share the Gospel. We’ve got Shad’s video and a list of the some of the best LDS Minecraft creations below.
Salt Lake City Temple
Shortly after returning from his two year mission in Jacksonville Florida and Macon Georgia, David Huckvale built the exterior and interior of the Salt Lake Temple.
Many of these videos walk you through rooms like the Baptismal Font, Solemn Assembly, Sealing room, and Celestial room. They act as virtual temple open houses for the growing Minecraft community.
Temple Square in Salt Lake City
San Diego Temple
Washington DC Temple
What has been your experience with Minecraft? What do you think about using Minecraft for education or to share the gospel? Feel free to share the Minecraft creation you or someone you know built by leaving a link in the comments below or post it on our Facebook page.
Ladd is the marketing manager and Amazon manager at LDSBookstore.com. He gets to use his creativity and innovative mind to come up with ways to help others find our website. He is an avid fan of any and every sport including curling and solo synchronized swimming.