How Minecraft Helps Kids Learn to Read

Clive Thompson has an interesting take on Minecraft and games like it. In addition to instilling spatial reasoning, math, and logic, it also teaches something else: good old-fashioned reading and writing. How does it do this? The secret lies not inside the game itself but in the players’ activities outside of it.

As John Dewey instructed us a century ago, “To get kids reading and writing, give them a real-world task they care about.”

As anyone who has played the game knows, Minecraft comes with minimal instructions or tutorials.

Brecht Vandenbroucke explains in detail how new players immediately set about hunting for info on how it works. That means students poring over how-to texts at Minecraft wikis and “walk-through” sites and young kids digging into printed manuals written for students from grade 8 to grade 11.

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