Señor Pablo and Mr. James periodically conduct Minecraft events for St. John School students in grades 3 – 8. These are intended to be fun social events with the following objectives:
- Provide a fun private multiplayer gaming environment safe from cheaters, bullies, and griefers.
- Teach and promote positive messages about digital citizenship
- Test and learn how to be successful running Minecraft servers for 50+ players at school
We don’t currently have an event scheduled. Please indicate your interest in future events using the following form. Once we get a critical mass of interested players, we will get another event scheduled!
Information on past events and how the events typically run:
We usually use the school’s 60 MinecraftEdu licenses on school MacBooks. Personal Minecraft accounts and computers are neither required nor allowed. This avoids challenges with authentication that can prevent a student from being able to join in the school’s Minecraft server.
What do we have planned? We typically have two separate worlds. One is a creative world with some fun mods, and the other varies from event to event. We have run the Wonderful World of Humanities as well as other epic worlds such as Imperial City. In the World of Humanities, players can visit over 10 sites from world history and interact with dozens of characters who can send them on quests. Players can earn experience points, rewards, and level up.
The mods on the creative world include:
Animal Bikes, Mr. Crayfish’s Furniture Mod, Carpenter Blocks, Custom NPCs, and ComputerCraft. Due to the “Ender-Dragon-Apocalypse” experienced at our last event, we are leaving Animal Bikes off the server this time. The creative world starts all players in a Minecraft tutorial, but experienced players are free to skip the tutorial and teleport off to distant build zones.
We usually run some contests with small prizes.
Students experienced with Minecraft mods or willing to roll up their sleeves and try it are welcome to create quests and adventures using the Custom NPCs mod for your fellow students to play during the event. Please fill out the “I want to run a quest” form for more details and to sign up.
Computers and licenses are all provided, but players accustomed to playing with a mouse may wish to bring a USB mouse from home for easier right-clicking.
- It provides an outlet for collaborating in teams to build large structures and mechanisms
- You can play competitive games or you can just do your own thing and explore and build
- No blood or gore or other potentially objectionable content
- We can provide separate “worlds” each with its own setup: a newbie-friendly world for beginners with unlimited resources and no monsters, a world for teams to work together on their own “property”, and more game- or competition-oriented worlds.
- It is a lot of fun that engages students of all ages, experience levels, and abilities
- It has no one right way to be played. Player choice is paramount. Like life, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should though, which provides an opportunity to discuss how to make good choices in a shared environment.
Why Minecraft at St. John School?
- Getting players together in one physical space allows them to show off to each other and make social connections that are not possible just playing on the internet from home
- The St. John community is well suited to address the biggest issue with this kind of online multiplayer gaming: griefing, or destructive behavior intended to ruin the experience for others. There is some tech in the Minecraft mods to prevent griefing actions, but really it is up to the players to play nicely. By having the students sign a code of conduct form and agree to play by the Golden Rule, something I think comes naturally to St. John students, I believe we can create a safe environment where they can have a lot of fun without the downsides of playing on the internet with strangers who have less civil manners and respect for others.
- Having players in the same physical space facilitates communication and teamwork and makes good behavior more likely
- We suspect there is a significant body of Minecraft players at St. John already and parents who would help
- There are opportunities within Minecraft to write code that generates buildings, for example I have a script that will just generate an entire castle. You can modify the code to change things like the size, materials, how many turrets, etc.
Experience so far
November 2016 will be our third event. Each one gets better and better!
Our first event was plagued by network and authentication problems. Lesson learned: mistakes entering passwords can quickly get the whole school temporarily banned. And the school’s wifi was not up to the challenge. Both of these issues are now resolved.
At our second event we had a player bring down the whole server by spawning hundreds of Ender Dragons using the Animal Bikes mod. We won’t be using that mod in the future 🙂
Check out some of the award winners from our latest event:
And sometimes you just need a He-Man Cave to chill out: