Minecraft: On the Waterfront

Minecraft on the Waterfront Screenshot

Derek Robertson’s work in the field of computer games and learning when he was National Adviser for Emerging Technologies with Education Scotland, is an area of research that he is looking to continue now that he is with the School of  Education & Social Work.

His current research project has seen him partner with CECHR and Dr Deepak Gopinath from Town Planning, and colleagues at Dundee City Council in order to explore how the game Minecraft, can be used as the culturally relevant digital framework in which an exploration of local context can be explored.

The project: Minecraft: On the Waterfront, involves 25 upper primary classes across wrestling with the challenge of reimaging, redesigning and then building what they think Dundee waterfront should like. At the heart of this research is an exploration of attitudes towards the digital world that children excel in, the place of games/worlds like in Minecraft in formal education and the nature of self-regulation of learners when they play/work in contexts that have cultural value to them.

The game Minecraft was recently bought by Microsoft for £2.5 billion. They saw the rise of this smash independent game and how it was being used by a huge global audience of learners to imagine, create and build within a collegiate and collaborative culture of shared. Derek’s previous record in this area and the contemporary context of his current study was noticed by Microsoft Research in the USA, and as a result he was recently invited along with 49 other educators from across the globe to Los Angeles to a Minecraft Educators Summit to help them establish the most appropriate strategy, in which the game could be situated in formal and informal learning contexts.

The University of Dundee was the only European academic representative at this event.

Derek’s work was also picked up by journalists from BBC Radio 4, and he was interviewed for their recent documentary that was aired this week called Minecraft: More than a game.

Derek is currently carrying out data gathering for his research study.


Blogpost about the project: http://hotmilkydrink.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/11/minecraft-on-the-waterfront.html

CECHR award website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/cechr/news/2014/articles/on-the-waterfront-with-minecraft.php

#minecraftOTW Hashtag stream: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%23minecraftOTW&src=typd

BBC Radio 4 documentary: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05mqpgl

Dundee Courier article: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/minecraft-used-by-pupils-to-reimagine-dundee-waterfront-s-future-1.455047

Tes Connect :https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6443941