Design competition invites schoolchildren to create Australian state park using Minecraft

by Jason Holland | 23 Apr 2015

An Australian national park could be designed by primary school pupils using the video game Minecraft.

The government of South Australia has launched a competition asking students to create their perfect national park using the popular game, or to suggest changes to an existing state park.

Minecraft allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D pixelated world.

With AU$8.9m ($6.9m, €6.4m, £4.6m) set aside for park projects, the winning designs could potentially be brought to life, according to the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges natural resources management board, which is running the competition.

It said design elements could include trails for bushwalking, mountain biking or horse riding, barbecue and picnic areas, wheelchair accessible areas, campgrounds, scenic lookouts, adventure playgrounds, interpretive trails, or places to launch canoes.

Entries must incorporate five Minecraft screenshots and a narrated flythrough of no longer than three minutes, and will be judged on criteria such as sustainability, usability, enjoyment, and overall skill.

The competition runs until 12 June 2015 and is open to students in years four to seven in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. The winner will be announced on 13 July – with the prize also including a class trip to Belair National Park.

Environment department officer Georgia Gowing, who came up with the idea, told In Daily that she wanted to use pupils’ interest in video games as a positive. “[Children] do this stuff on a screen and then they get out into a real national park. We’re not going to design an entire park around what each kid wants to do, but we’re going to take the elements.”

Minecraft has previously been cited as a method of getting more children interested in museums and galleries, with the British Museum already detailing plans to recreate itself in virtual form using the video game.

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Revealed: How Minecraft can get more kids into museums and galleries

An Australian national park could be designed by primary school pupils using the video game Minecraft. The government of South Australia has launched a competition asking students to create their perfect national park using the popular game, or to suggest changes to an existing state park. Minecraft allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D pixelated world. With AU$8.9m ($6.9m, €6.4m, £4.6m) set aside for park
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Minecraft is being used to engage children in a wide range of projects, with the park design competition the latest example / Mojang AB
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