Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog

All posts from July 16, 2013

The Hungercraft Experience

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Posted Jul. 16, 2013

CategoryGaming Education

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In light of E-Line Media’s new partnership with MinecraftEDU we’ve been playing a lot of Minecraft in the office.  Last week E-Line’s entire development team in Seattle played Joel Levin’s (@MinecraftTeachr) mod called Hungercraft.  In Hungercraft, players explore the world of the Hunger Games in a setting 75 years before Katniss’ rise to fame.  Each person enters the Minecraft mod as either a member of the oppressive Capitol or a lowly coal miner of District 12.  The only place the two groups in the game can meet is the trading room, where they can choose to trade coal for food.  The Capitol needs coal to make food, and District 12 has no access to food, but plenty of coal. There are no right or wrong ways to solve the conflict in Hungercraft; teams can cooperate, orchestrate an uprising, battle, steal, etc.

We weren’t the only group to try out Hungercraft.  This article in the Huffington Post’s Blog describes the experience of Hungercraft with two groups of high schoolers at Brooklyn Public Library.  For these high schoolers, Hungercraft started out civil, with each side trading their goods.  But when an instigator from District 12 broke into the Capitol, conflict was unavoidable.  The teens wrote about the experience:

“We viewed this event as an opportunity to open our minds. Sure it was very fun and entertaining, but the teens from both groups also went away realizing the need for better communication and delegates, increasing the significance of the United Nations. These revelations all occurred within the walls of the Brooklyn Public Library. Who said video games aren’t educational?”

At E-Line, our teams spent their time finding loopholes and resources on their own sides before interacting at all. Once District 12 had scrounged up their own food without asking the Capitol, they prepared for attack.  It’s good to know resourcefulness and independence are prevalent qualities at E-Line!