Report From the British Library: “Building a Minecraft Gateway to the World of Books”
Professor Sally Bushell drew on the British Library collections to create Litcraft, a project that builds worlds in Minecraft to inspire reluctant readers. Her most recent Litcraft game is called Steampunk Sherlock Holmes. Sally is a Professor of Romantic and Victorian Literature in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University.
We use Litcraft in schools. We always start with the whole class reading through a text. Then they go into the game, and do an activity that re-enacts what they’ve just read. For example, when we did Treasure Island, in the text, the young protagonist Jim Hawkins goes ashore with the pirates, and runs all over the island. For the first task in the game, you’ve got to go over the island and find stuff. You’re reading, then playing.
It’s very blocky in appearance, so students can imagine the world for themselves. When you’re reading, you can only do what the narrative allows you to do, but the game world is like a different way of reading. I’d have absolutely loved it as a kid.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.