Here's a little background information on the game that's brought this class to where it's been today. Personally, I've been playing Minecraft for years as a way to have fun with friends, decompress in between work, and in a third way (the way we're most interested in)- to build neat things.

Minecraft is what we'd call a sandbox game- or at least, the 'creative mode' portion of it is. As far as we're concerned, that's what we'll be using for the class.


What does that mean, exactly? Imagine this classic example: A young child plays in the sandbox in the park. Within that sandbox, imagination is king. The child can build cities, castles, mountains, valleys, etc. Minecraft falls within the same realm- the game itself is the sandbox, and it provides the player tools (akin to the shovels and buckets of a real sandbox) to shape and build the environment as they please.


Minecraft, first known as Infiminer, was created by Dutch programmer Markus Persson and debuted in 2009 as an 'alpha release'. The official release of the game was in late 2011, and in 2014, its parent company Mojang was acquired by the Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) for north of 2 and a half billion dollars. At the time of writing, it's the best-selling videogame of all time.

The Appeal

So there must be plenty of games out there that provide you with god-like abilities and set you loose, right? Technically, you're right. For the purpose of this class, we use Minecraft for a few key reasons, so before you suggest that we switch to another, more circuitry-oriented game, check these out.