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Minecraft helps to create history for ANZAC Day

11 Apr 2014

Minecraft is being used by Kiwi kids to recreate ANZAC history in a new project with the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Media Design School's 'Pick & Shovel' community.

In the ‘WWI: Gallipoli in Minecraft’ project, the landscape of 1915 Gallipoli will be built in a virtual world using the award-winning game. The potential of Minecraft as an educational tool for ANZAC Day was initially recognised by the Museum, who say the project will enable the younger generations to learn more about World War One.

“Minecraft is a wonderful way to engage students with a period of history which they may feel removed from.” says Museum School Programmer Wendy Burne. “Photographs from our collections taken almost one hundred years ago will provide opportunities to understand what Gallipoli was like first-hand and aid in building the world.”

The project is being launched on the 12th and 13th of April, with a weekend build in the Armoury at the Museum by 15 hand-picked 'elite builders' aged 13-17 years of age. Key landing areas from ANZAC Cove through to Razor's Edge, including boats, large artillery, dugouts and trenches, will be established by the elite builders.

Over the next year, the project will continue to develop throughout the centenary period, aiming for completion around the 2015 ANZAC day commemorations. Following the initial build, the 'world' will be exported to a public server, where people from across the globe will be able to explore and contribute. Challenges will be revealed throughout the year that will focus on different items or locations important to ANZAC campaigns.

For classroom use an education version is being developed, with resources and support provided by the Museum.

“The opportunity to introduce Minecraft into classrooms as an interactive learning tool is very exciting,” Darryn Melrose, Media Design School CEO says. “Better still, it will be created by students, for students. We are looking forward to watching the old blend with the new to create an engaging virtual experience for the classroom.”

Find out more about the  ‘WWI: Gallipoli in Minecraft’ project at www.pickandshovel.net/ww1