Minecraft isn't too cool for school. Microsoft announces Education Edition

Here it is. The official excuse for the 'why are you playing Minecraft (opens in new tab) instead of doing your homework' question. Microsoft has officially announced Minecraft: Education Edition for use in the classroom. MinecraftEdu has actually been around since 2011 and is used in 40 countries around the world but it has now been acquired by Microsoft and will have an expanded set of features.

The game will be available as a free trial from summer and, presumably to get schools on board, it'll be free for use for the first year. “One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground,” says Mojang's COO Vu Bui in the official announcement (opens in new tab). “We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.”

It's big news as Minecraft creeps onto even more PCs in the name of education. It's apparently been used for science, art and even poetry lessons so there's clearly no subject it can't try and improve with blocks. In other Minecraft related news, here's Mayor of London, Boris Johnson launching the brand new Games London initiative to help game development within the city. Yes, of course he's in a Minecraft version of London.

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Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK's YouTube Channel, and on The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing an Assassin’s Creed game and getting distracted by Photo Mode.