Mojang’s hugely popular sandbox construction game Minecraft has added the Raspberry Pi to its long list of supported platforms, finally releasing the first post-beta version for Britain’s groundbreaking educational computer.
Applications matter for platforms but Minecraft matters more than most. The Raspberry Pi was invented to encourage youngsters to take up coding, but having the hit indie game popular with the young as a lure won’t hurt either.
In the case of Minecraft Pi Edition, there is a bit more going on under the bonnet.
Running on Raspbian ‘Wheezy’ with XWindows after being released late last year as a beta, Minecraft Pi Edition doesn’t support the game’s ‘survival mode’ but does allow users to fiddle with its game code via a number of programming languages.
It’s a free game for the Pi but it’s also potentially a powerful way for young coders to get to grips with games programming concepts.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a video demo of how this can be used to tinker with the game.
Could this be the Raspberry Pi’s killer app? Possibly. There has been a sudden rush of ARM-based Linux boards recently, emboldened by the Pi’s incredible success. But the Pi’s education-oriented roots seem to be giving it the edge when it comes to development.
“It’s like hacking your way into Minecraft and modifying the game world with code, a bit like being Notch, Jeb, or Nathan, but arguably more fun and less stressful,” blogged Mojang chief word office, Owen Hill.
The acid test will be how many units end up in schools doing the work it was invented to do – inspiring the next generation of programmers.
Mojang’s Pi Edition adds to the Windows, Linux, Mac, Xbox 360, Apple iOS and Android versions already offered.