Ok so my kids (especially the 6 year old) is obsessed with minecraft. Why? Lets start at the beginning:

Tom is an average kid, 6 years old. A happy boy with no SEN.

I am an educational technology advisor and school inspector (UK) and moved with the family to Australia. In the UK my son was asked (when he was 4) to create a castle. WE did. Cardboard boxes...so much fun. However at the end he said.... "I have made a much better one in Minecraft". "Really? " I said. He then showed me a detailed version of his castle together with all the concepts he had be learning in school from the Keep to the kings own library!

Multi platform gaming
He jumps between the iPad, Galaxy Tab2 and XBox and never seems to mind. Each game is different...each world is unique and he never gets bored.

Type of game
He keeps to creative modes but every now and then dips in to survival.

Literacy
He reads around minecraft using the books but mainly learns on his own. He has learned many concepts from the creation of fire, switching and redstone.

So far in year 1 and 2 he has
  • developed his knowledge in detail of castles
  • Created buildings
  • Has an appreciation of blocks and materials and their use
  • Had an appreciation of fire/TNT and destruction (he said to me that TNT blows up at least 6 blocks if placed directly on a flat surface and so on. He was describing the rough algorithms that TNT use to delete bricks depending on materials
  • He understands flint and steel and its use in creation of fire
  • He understands basic logic gates.
  • Lava and liquid engineering is now on his agenda

This is all self directed and although I am interested I let him develop his skills on his own and via books