• Sweden's news in English

Swedish school makes Minecraft a must

The Local · 9 Jan 2013, 11:45

Published: 09 Jan 2013 11:45 GMT+01:00

“It’s their world and they enjoy it,” Monica Ekman, a teacher at the Viktor Rydberg school, told The Local.

“They learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future,” she said.

Around 180 students take part in the lessons, learning how to build virtual worlds, complete with electricity grids, water supply networks and indeed anything else that may come to mind.

“The boys knew a lot about it before we even started, but the girls were happy to create and build something too - it’s not any different from arts or woodcraft,” Ekman said.

The students themselves are enjoying the unconventional teaching method, she said.

“You get to learn how things work because you’re actually trying to build something,” student Amanda Hillström told Sveriges Television (SVT).

The idea stems from a national school competition called "Future City," where classes around Sweden were invited to submit proposals on how to make things better in the future.

The teachers at the Viktor Rydberg school, however, went a step further and made Minecraft compulsory.

While Ekman admits that some parents were uncomfortable with the idea at first, she thinks the school will keep using it as a teaching tool.

“It’s been a great success and we’ll definitely do it again,” she told The Local.

“We think it’s a fun way of learning and it’s nice for the students to achieve something.”

Minecraft has proven to be extremely popular since its release in November 2011, with over 40 million registered players and 17.5 million games sold worldwide.

The 3D game demands that players find creative solutions to construction problems. According to its website, the idea is as simple as “arranging blocks to build anything you can imagine.”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related articles

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

15:44 January 9, 2013 by Commie
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:59 January 10, 2013 by Grokh
in USA they want to censor videogames instead of banning guns which are the real problem, in sweden they put it into the school system guess who is the wise one?
16:19 January 11, 2013 by MichaelZWilliamson
Grokh: I'm not clear on why you went there, but in response:

Minecraft is not a particularly violent game, unlike "Kindergarten Killer," for example.

The AR15 rifle is legal in Sweden, as are most guns.

The Supreme Court says there is a right to keep and bear arms, including modern firearms, so there will be no ban. Nor do bans work--consider the ban on meth, cocaine and heroin.

There are many repercussions to free speech as well. See: Fred Phelps for example. Unlicensed access to computers makes it easy for scammers and exploiters of children to reach people. Nevertheless, the right remains.

To say "Guns are the real problem" would mean there was no murder before guns were invented. This is patently untrue.

And per Leyden University's International Crime Victims' Survey, and other studies, while the US murder rate is higher (largely due to the illegal drug trade), Sweden is more violent in crime overall, when considering also burglary, robbery, rape, assault, etc.

Instead of trying to ban anything--books, guns, games--a rational person would propose better education, child raising, and social action to improve lives and behavior voluntarily, with treatment for the sick.
Today's headlines
Swedish lifestyle pulls in record foreign tourists
Tourists in Stockholm this summer. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish lifestyle pulls in record foreign tourists

13 minutes ago

The rainy summer did not stop foreign tourists from flocking to Sweden in record numbers, according to key statistics released on Tuesday afternoon.

The Local List
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
A room in Stockholm's Långholmen prison. Photo: Långholmen prison

Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm

November 19, 2014

From prisons and boats to renovated jumbo jets, Stockholm has some unusual backpacker joints. The Local's Oliver Gee - himself a seasoned traveller - spent a night at five of the top rated locations on review sites, to see if the hostels in his adopted home city lived up to the hype.

Greenpeace mulls Vattenfall plant takeover
One of Vattenfall's plants in Germany. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images/TT

Greenpeace mulls Vattenfall plant takeover

1 hour ago

It might sound like one of the environmental group's protest stunts, but Greenpeace insists it really does want to buy up a series of brown coal mines and plants offered for sale by Swedish power company Vattenfall.

Swedish striker confirms talks of Zlatan-the-movie
Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Swedish striker confirms talks of Zlatan-the-movie

2 hours ago

Sweden's national star footballer and Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirmed on Tuesday that he is in talks to turn his life into a movie.

Nobel Prizes 2015
Who are the 2015 Nobel Physics winners?
Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B McDonald. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Who are the 2015 Nobel Physics winners?

4 hours ago

Two scientists will share the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, judges in Stockholm announced on Tuesday. But who are Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B McDonald?

Nobel Prizes 2015
BLOG: Sweden's Nobel Prize in Physics 2015
The Nobel Prize in Physics being announced in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

BLOG: Sweden's Nobel Prize in Physics 2015

8 hours ago

Scientists from Japan and Canada will share the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. The Local live blogged the key moments from Tuesday's announcement in Stockholm.

Housing 'crash' on cards warn top economists
A new apartment block in Barkarby, just outside Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Housing 'crash' on cards warn top economists

10 hours ago

Property prices have doubled in Sweden over the past ten years and the country’s National Institute of Economic Research (NIER) is warning that the market could soon end up crashing.

Nobel Prizes 2015
BLOG: Sweden's Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015
The winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine announced in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

BLOG: Sweden's Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015

1 day ago

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to three researchers from universities in the US, Japan and China. The Local blogged the key moments from the announcement in Stockholm.

Police face bomb threat in southern Sweden
Swedish police investigating in Nässjö on Tuesday. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

Police face bomb threat in southern Sweden

9 hours ago

UPDATED: A police station in Nässjö, just south of Jönköping, was cordoned off on Tuesday morning as bomb squad officers travelled 180km from Gothenburg to investigate a suspicious object.

The Local List
Five questions before buying a Sweden home
Here's what you need to know before buying a home in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX

Five questions before buying a Sweden home

April 23, 2015

The Swedish financial watchdog recently scrapped plans for new mortgage rules, meaning you can still buy a home in Sweden and never pay off the full loan. Here's The Local's guide to the five main things you need to know before taking your first step on to the property ladder in the Nordic country.

Nobel Medicine Laureates 2015
Sweden mourns Nordic Noir legend
Business & Money
Five essential tips for buying your first home in Sweden
Property of the week: Tumlehed, Gothenburg
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
Blog updates

2 October

Editor’s blog, October 2nd (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi everyone, If you have been reading about Sweden in the international media this week, you would..." READ »


24 September

Checklist for your Swedish writing (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej hej! I thought I should share a checklist that I have made for my students. Enjoy! Spelling Did..." READ »

Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's 'six-hour day' is bogus
People-watching: October 2nd-4th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm International School: helping expat students feel at home
Swedes cash in on new bank notes
Meet the winners of Sweden's 'alternative Nobel' prize
Sponsored Article
Swedes 'know more about sex' than Brits
The secret to more travel for less
Rise in wolf attacks on animals in central Swedish town
Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
People-watching: September 30th
Sponsored Article
#LifeChangingOptions: Change lives with birth control
IN PICTURES: Sweden's new notes
How much do you know about Sweden's Cinnamon Bun Day?
DEBATE: Is joining a Swedish startup always worth the risk?
Why Sweden has launched sex books for disabled teens
Refugee protestors clash at Sweden's Lapland border
Property of the week: Mellby, Simrishamn
Sweden top for cancer survival rates
DEBATE: Can moving to Sweden make you more feminist?
IN PICTURES: What the supermoon looked like in Sweden
People-watching: September 25th-27th
Should empty jails be used to house refugees in Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Rugby in Scandinavia: an expat love story
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: