Carson City Library hosts Minecraft workshop
Special to the Nevada Appeal
Halen Harrison, 10, spent a recent Saturday afternoon building a civilization with his friends.
“We’re mining minerals and diamonds and emeralds and stuff,” he said. “I like working with other people like this. It’s exciting.”
Harrison is one of several participants in the Carson City Library’s Habits of Mind (Craft), where youth are invited to play the adventuring video game Minecraft that allows them to collaborate in building structures as well as entire communities.
Working with Halen, Valerie King, 13, uses the minerals for building structures.
“I like to build houses out of quartz in creative mode,” she said.
“It lets people do whatever they want,” explained Robert White, a Carson High School junior who serves as coordinator for the Habits of Mind (Craft) program. “If you want to build a train station and live in a train station you can do that. If you want to build a roller coaster under water, you can.”
The library hosts two Saturday workshops each month, along with a build-a-thon, where students focus on creating.
“It’s a canvas where they can take an abstract concept and make something real,” White said. “We use it as a kind of sandbox they can actually play in and make it happen.”
According to its website, “Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.”
Sena Loyd, library director, said this program — and others like it — are preparing young library users for the world they will live in.
“Libraries have to change,” she said. “We’re in the generation where information is at our fingertips, but how do you know if that information is correct. Habits of Mind (Craft) is one way to show students how to access knowledge. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily just come from books.”
It’s also a chance to experiment and make mistakes without the high-stakes consequences.
“I can build stuff and create stuff,” said Alfonso Herrera, 12. “It might not be good sometimes, but other times I get it right.”
More than a just a video game, Minecraft gives students a platform to apply science, technology, engineering, artistic and math skills.
“I think it’s good because we’re learning stuff,” said A.J. Grasso, 13. “Like if we wanted to be architects, it’s getting us ready. It makes us think and be creative. Basically, do whatever you want.”