Cliffs, caves and monsters in Minecraft update

Catchy? The makers of Minecraft originally wanted to call it “Cave Game” © Minecraft

Is Minecraft good for us? Last week, fans tuned in to learn about its exciting new plans for next year. Now there is a fierce debate about how much time we should spend glued to our screens.

What’s happening

The cave is enthralling. Thick green plants climb up walls. Orange fruits grow on hanging trees. Beautiful underground streams trickle around the maze of rocks and earth.

This stunning scene is the teaser for a brand new Minecraft update called Caves and Cliffs, announced last week.

Find out more

Playing Minecraft is like having an unlimited box of Lego. Players have a blank landscape and can build whatever they want: houses, railways – even entire cities.

Last week, the makers of the game, Mojang, announced a massive new update that would go live in the summer of 2021.

Players can expect to go cave diving and cliff climbing in caves with underground waterfalls, vast lakes and narrow valleys.

The updates were announced during a live event, where Mojang also revealed two new mobs. They also gave fans a chance to vote on the next character to be added to the game.

Minecraft is one of the most popular games on the planet. Since its release in 2009, it has sold 200 million copies.

Is it good for us?

Some say…

No. Minecraft can be very addictive. It encourages users to spend hours indoors staring at a screen. There are better ways to spend your free time; making things with your hands can help with brain development. Spending time outdoors is good for your physical and mental health.

Others think…

Of course it is! Minecraft inspires creativity, problem-solving and organisation. It even helps with skills like reading, writing, maths and history. Games make sure we are involved and active. They are a better use of time than sitting watching TV.

You Decide

  1. Would you rather build a city on the computer in Minecraft or make one in real life out of Lego blocks?

Activities

  1. Draw a design for a hotel that you would like to build on Minecraft. Label each room and be creative about what is in the building!

Some People Say...

“The worst thing a kid can say about homework is that it is too hard. The worst thing a kid can say about a computer game is that it’s too easy.”

Professor Henry Jenkins, University of Southern California

What do you think?

Word Watch

Enthralling
Something that captures your attention, usually something beautiful or fascinating.
Teaser
A short advert or introduction to something that is coming soon to get fans excited. Films sometimes release teasers before the full trailers come out.
Lego
Colourful building blocks used for constructing almost anything. The tiny pieces were invented in Denmark.
Mojang
A Swedish video game developer based in Sweden. Its fame came when it created Minecraft and is now part of the Xbox company.
Valleys
A narrow area of ground surrounded by mountains or cliffs. Rivers often flow through valleys, but very thin valleys called ravines can be found in caves, too.
Mobs
Mobs are the name for the monsters and creatures you'll find in the world of Minecraft. They range from animals to zombies to pig people.
Brain development
The way your brain grows and learns.

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