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Free Minecraft codes coming to all secondary schools in Northern Ireland

Minecraft is going to be offered for free to every secondary school in Northern Ireland.

According to the Guardian, the move is part of a project funded by the Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure.

The game will come to 200 schools, as well as 30 libraries and other community organisations, via a free download code.

Minecraft launched back in 2011, and his since become a phenomenal success with upwards of 60 million copies sold across all platforms.

The open-world, sandbox-style gameplay soon became a valuable tool for teaching children to understand about architecture, design, agriculture, and effective resource management.

Mark Nagurski, chief executive of CultureTECH, the group behind the project, said: “The level of engagement is the first thing you notice.”

This is work that the kids really want to do and if you’re able to harness that enthusiasm, energy, and, creativity you end up with a pretty significant learning opportunity.”

Related: Best Games of 2015

Nagurski was keen to promote the game’s educational possibilities, suggesting that the ease of sharing Minecraft content makes it an invaluable resource for teachers.

“The other exciting thing for us is the scalability and sharability that Minecraft offers,” he continued. “If someone creates an engaging way of teaching, say, ancient history, using Minecraft, that can immediately be shared with all the other teachers using the game.”

It’s worth noting that the schools won’t be getting Minecraft proper; the software will actually be MinecraftEdu, an educational version of the game.

Game developers created the classroom-friendly edition shortly after Minecraft officially launched.

The devs created a suite around the game that gave teachers added teaching tools and enabled easy content sharing.

MinecraftEdu is currently used by over 3,000 teachers around the world, across hundreds of schools.

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