Minecraft features prominently in last week’s cover story in the New Yorker.
Any parent of a four-to-x-year-old will likely understand this week’s cover. Most everyone else will probably be confused.
Minecraft is a video game invented, in 2009, by Markus Persson (a.k.a. “Notch” to the seven hundred trillion humans who play it), as a sort of intuitive reimagining of the landscape of his Swedish childhood, but with zombies. Simultaneously writing and releasing the game, like a sort of wakeful brain surgery, Persson and his staff coded while an algorithmically increasing number of players sent suggestions, found bugs, and played and played and played Minecraft, before the full version was released, in 2011. Then the whole genome of the project sold to Microsoft last year, for two and a half billion dollars. (Concerned parents can view the fascinating documentary “Minecraft: The Story of Mojang” for more info.) Persson recently became notable to the over-forty set for buying a seventy-million-dollar house in Los Angeles (he only very recently became the owner of an automobile, and appears, like me, to dread human contact), and he no longer works on the game.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.