I knew there were no words to calm the angry mob. The Principal stood at the back corner of the room giving me "the look". I had convinced her about the Minecraft curriculum, and in the next few minutes I had to put out the fire. I decided to invite the parents to experience the game. They can then decide if it is good, bad or ugly.
Everything you described about the game is true, I told the parents once they settle into their seats at their computers. There are a few obvious reasons kids enjoy the game. The number one being there are No Rules. The kids get to build things, destroy things, blow things up. There is open plundering and stealing for items and murder is also allowed. I heard a a huge gasp of disbelief followed by mutterings under the breath of my audience. Let's play the game I exclaimed! as I spawned the enraged mob into a farmland we have been working on during class.
We spend the first few minutes learning to walk, jump and fly in the game. We took a stroll around the farmhouse, the vegetable fields and the cattle corrals. Parents started seeing their kids names on sign posts. There's Kayra's farmhouse and Stacey's Corral they said. Slowly my group of parents stopped following me and wandered off to find their own kids farmhouse or field. I showed them how to open their child's portfolios, and now there was silence. Each one was reading what their child had written, solved, explored, created or changed. Some had solved a math word problem and some had written a poem. My students built a field based on the area of sq. ft we needed. My students changed floorplans to better fit the needs of our class. We redesign our secret meeting place when we learned about the Redstone block (gives power torches, rail etc.) It was project based learning. There was teamwork and comradeship between my students. We were learning Math, English and Science and we were playing the whole time while doing it. I saw the stiffness and anger leave the bodies of the parents. They were jumping, flying, building and exploring the Minecraft world. They were asking me questions about crafting and survival. They were all impressed with their child's work. There was a change in the room's energy, the mob had turned jubilant. I was relieved! We continue to build, explore and craft until the meeting ends. Before they left, I made sure to kill them all. It would not be fair for them not to experience it. They all left for home educated about the game, our learning in class and convinced often professional do know their jobs.