Conscious of my counter-position to buying into the Microsoft Minecraft Education Edition (MSMCEE) ecosystem (Win10 or Console), I remain very much pro ‘regular’ Minecraft (Console, Pocket and PC/OSX). Of course some of the comments I had to rebuff my outlandish claims is that MSMCEE that it does a whole lot of building and creative ‘stuff’ which otherwise can’t be done (cough) easily in the classroom.
To that I say – lets think about a low cost way to bring an immersive, 3D game into the classroom that allows children to create things – and play with them using their imagination and goals (the essential claims of the pro-MSMCEE experts). Okay then, how about a game which is FREE, has multi-player fun, allows you to play with designs, systems and deploy them in a MOBA. No expensive physical robots, no need to upgrade your school system and of course you don’t have to limit yourself to blocks – or cummy movement. Now, how about we take this game and see it it fits the current Australian STEM frameworks – oh look, it does! So I ask again, what games other than Minecraft are these experts showing you? I’m not an expert – I’m a gamer, ask me if the glass is half full or half empty and I’ll ask – what does it do if you drink it?
Robocraft is great for STEM. Not every school can afford robotic kits. The fun part is getting the parts for your robots, the problem is running out of bricks. Essentially this game falls into the MOBA format (6v6) until unlocking more advanced game modes. There’s no offline play, something which is a growing methodology for multiplayer games, and there’s the usual community of enthusiasts.
- You start of with five ‘bays’ to create robots
- Play multiplayer
- Receive loot boxes based on success in each game
- Acquire parts and equipment to build robots from the loot boxes.
- There is in game-text chat (well behaved community)
- Add friends
Players needs to learn how to make all sorts of bots – walking, flying, jumping, rolling and hovering. There are plenty of weapons to demolish people. There are ’round based’ games and a pervasive drop-in multiplayer.
Risks: It’s a MOBA so people are going to win and lose and loot chests give random items. There is text chat, so a potential for un-moderated comments and of course.