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Minecraft free for Northern Ireland secondary schools

Head to the computer block.

Free copies of sandbox survival game Minecraft will be given to every secondary school in Northern Ireland.

More than 200 schools will be supplied with the game, along with 30 libraries and other community organisations, The Guardian reports.

The version of the game supplied will be MinecraftEdu, a discounted version with features designed for use in classrooms.

MinecraftEdu also includes a hosting service so players can easily connect and join in games together.

The scheme is a joint project organised by the annual CultureTech festival and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

"The level of engagement is the first thing you notice," said Mark Nagurski, chief executive of CultureTech. "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.

"The other exciting thing for us is the scalability and 'sharability' that Minecraft offers. 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."

In my day we had Logo the turtle [Editor's note: in my day we had Encarta '95, so count yourself lucky].

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