Here it is. The official excuse for the 'why are you playing Minecraft 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. “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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