Minecraft isn’t your standard video game. Players create, explore, build, and design whatever their imaginations can dream up. That means Minecraft is a great place to explore engineering basics.
To see engineering in action, check out the video below where one of our counselors gives a tour of the different types of traps that can be built in Minecraft.
Don’t just think of Minecraft as a bunch of static blocks. Those blocks and other tools in Minecraft are very dynamic. Don’t think of it as a survival game either. In Creative Mode, players design amazing structures that move just like in real life.
Minecraft has been used to improve communities by modeling urban planning (by Sweden and the United Nations) with players creating and designing structures they want in their communities. One player even created a basic, but functioning computer within the game. For years, players have created working 4- and 8-bit microprocessors.
These moving and working creations are made with the basic tools of engineering, such as switches, circuits, pistons, levers, and other triggers. Players create circuits in game just like they would in real life. They add a power source, usually Redstone, since it is Minecraft’s version of electricity. They add a switch of some sort, such as a pressure plate. They connect the power source and switch. Then their creations come to life. Doors open and close. Lights go on and off. Carts move between one location and another automatically.
Not familiar with Redstone? Learn more about Minecraft’s version of electricity and how to put it to use in our How-To: Build Redstone Circuits post.
A great way to learn the basics of engineering in Minecraft is to join our summer camp. We have a camp that focuses on engineering called Engineering with Redstone in Minecraft. Also, check out a list of the activities that our counselors will host each day during the camp.