This author says Minecraft helps prepare kids for our world
A new kids book out this week tackles big, serious themes about war, liberty, security — even the purpose of a nation. It's called Minecraft: The Village.
It's author says Minecraft — yes, the video game — is a great vehicle for teaching life lessons.
Who is he? Author Max Brooks is best known for his meticulously researched guides on the zombie apocalypse and Bigfoot.
- His work has led to a position at the Modern War Institute at West Point, where he speaks to the military about preparedness.
What's the big deal? In Minecraft: The Village, the third book in his trilogy, Brooks tackles some serious issues.
- The series is based on the inescapably popular world-building video game, and follows two heroes, Guy and Summer, who are transported from our world to the world of Minecraft.
- After settling in a little town, the heroes are forced to confront an entirely new set of challenges, when a war becomes an imminent presence in their lives.
- In Minecraft, you can run into anything from bad guys to extreme climates and unknown terrains. Players have to deal with danger, manage resources and plan ahead. For Brooks, that openness makes Minecraft the perfect vehicle to teach kids about adapting as they enter a world where things are always changing.
What's he saying? Brooks spoke with NPR reporter Andrew Limbong about introducing heavier topics to children to help them understand their world.
On his motivation for including themes of war:
Want more on books? Listen to Consider This on the financial and emotional toll book bans are taking on librarians across the U.S.
On using the structure of technology to teach life lessons:
How'd he arrive here?
- Growing up, Brooks struggled in school with dyslexia. And his mother, the famous actor Anne Bancroft, quit acting to help him get through school. She taught him that problems are a lot less scary if you are prepared — true both in our world and in Minecraft.
- Minecraft: The Village is out now.
- Britney Spears memoir reaches bestseller status a week before it hits shelves
- U.S. book bans are taking a toll on a beloved tradition: Scholastic Book Fairs
- For Jada Pinkett Smith, it's all lessons, not regrets
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.