A minecraft raid!

The students are nearly driving me mad! They want to come in at each recess and lunchtime to continue learning in minecraft! It is now going viral! My 9/10 students have been allowed in on several occasions, but I am concerned about the others who want to come in and who have not been through our group discussion of appropriate behaviour and citizenship in minecraft etc. Their students love to show their friends how to play minecraft.

Almost a week to the day, one of my most experienced minecraft players came up to me at lunchtime and asked why the year 7 students were allowed into our world. It appears that the Quantum minecraft was not working (which is where they are supposed to be) and the technician suggested to their teacher that they could go into the school’s minecraft server.

Unfortunately, they raided Nathan’s place which he had so proudly built and shared its space with they other 9/10 ICT students. He had left tools for them in his chest, built a stove to cook food on and left signage everywhere to explain areas. To his consternation, the younger students had raided his house, broken his windows etc. I told him to come in at lunchtime to explore the extent of the damage only to find out that the year 7s were back in the world, using another computer lab in the school for access.

I quickly worked my way to the computer pod and let forth my wrath on the students who were all in there. They sheepishly said they were trying to repair the damage and put the place back as Nathan had left it. It took them all lunchtime to dig for sand to make more glass to repair the windows. They also replaced the tools in the chest. But rather amazingly, Nathan went down and then taught them more skills in the game! Faith is now restored in each other

The technician talked about trying to run another server so that year 7s and 9120s could work in a different world, but after discussion with the other teacher involved, we want them to learn to live together in this world. Some of the lessons learnt today would have been quite difficult to teach in a theory type class, but they have become poignant in the game.

It is obvious that we need to work with the students and develop a code of conduct and then just keep on learning together how to build collaboratively and live harmoniously together.

Do you have any advice for us? How do you manage school communities in minecraft. What experience could you share with us? Have you used or developed a set of protocols?

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9 responses to “A minecraft raid!

  1. This made the headlines on Twitter! I found this through @Ideas_factory. I wish I knew more about Minecraft. My son play’s it all the time on the iPad but there is no one in his world but for himself…or zombies in survival mode…which he doesn’t seem to enjoy much.

  2. I don’t have any suggestions, but am actively following your journey while I still await approval to start up Minecraft in my school. I think you raise some good issues that need to be discussed that without giving students an opportunity to make these mistakes may never have been discussed.

    • This issue occurred again. Another comment was placed on this blog post, stating that students need to earn the right to be part of the minecraft world. My year 9 students are so frustrated because on the second raid by just a small group of year 7 boys, they lost absolutely everything, except for one boy who built under the sea and another who built way beyond the starting point. At the moment any student can logon to minecraft as they only need a username. Will keep tracking our progress.

  3. I have never had something like this, but I would suggest in a way, treating the younger kids like second class citizens. They are only allowed in the same places on the server as the older kids once they have proven themselves to be trustworthy and considerate.

    This is often the model most Minecraft servers work off of.

    • Thank you for this advice. After our experiences, which have occurred the second time, I think this is the approach that we will take. Our problem is that we dont know how to restrict use as all students can just logon with a username. If you have any ideas how we could force restriction to certain students and leave out the younger ones I would really appreciate any advice.
      Anne

      • If the issue is that they do not require a password, I would suggest installing a second layer auth plugin, the kind designed for use with cracked Minecraft servers.

        Other than that, I can suggest creating a ‘newbie box’ around spawn out of bedrock that everyone spawns in, and the older kids can ask to be TP’ed out to the open world. Of course this could also be done using the Bukkit plugin called WorldGuard, which allows you to create user groups, which allow you to control areas where the user groups can go, and their permissions in certain areas.

    • Interesting solutions being offered here, but it’s never a good idea to treat anyone like “second class” citizens in game or in real life. Often griefing like this has nothing to do with age, so creating an area for younger kid will only lead to resentment and not really solve loot stealing or griefing by older kids.

      Often, a co-constructed set of guidelines with the students can prevent issues like this when the students respect the space, the teacher and their peers. However, that’s not always realistic. So, my suggestion would be to install a chest protection plugin like LWC or Residence that will let kids lock their chests, doors, etc. Here’s the plugin at work on the GamingEdu server: http://youtu.be/nJCV2UWDDAk

      We also need to realize that for many players, “griefing” IS the game. Minecraft gives players the tools to do these things and they are just using the tools to play the game the way they want to. It’s uncomfortable, inequitable and a pain, but it’s a very real part of gaming culture. And if teachers choose to bring games into their classrooms/libraries, then this element of gaming will follow.

      • Agreed, I do not really like the term second class citizens either, perhaps “L” plate minecrafters might be a better term. What do you think? However, if that small group of students continue on a rampage of destruction, they could be likened to citizens who do not deserve full privileges.

  4. What an amazing story! We had a very similar instance on our Multi-School Server in Canada. Three after school Minecraft clubs, from three schools all playing on a single shared server. There was a lot of accidental and intentional breaking and raiding between clubs, none of the kids knew each other in real life. But more times than not, the kids banded together to make things right without much encouragement from the teachers. This sense of community and “doing what’s right” was great to see.

    For our server, each of the different school clubs developed an in game and in club code of conduct. We co-developed it with the students and it was remarkable how strictly the kids enforced it. You can read the code of conducts on the student’s shared Minecraft Clubhub wiki: http://minecraftclubhub.pbworks.com/w/page/50597785/Minecraft%20Club%20Hub .
    We also run a Minecraft Professional Learning server for teachers to learn Minecraft, connect with other educators using the game and share resources for situations exactly like the one you encountered. It’s open to any and all educators and their families. Learn more at: http://gamingedus.org.

    Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures in MInecraft!

    Liam

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