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Brief Published: 15 May 2019

Minecraft Resurrects Lost Monuments

Starting with sites that were destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, History Blocks lets students collaborate to digitally resurrect monuments that have been destroyed during conflicts.

History Blocks, launched in 2019 and developed by São Paulo-based agency Africa with support from UNESCO, is used by schools in over 30 countries via Minecraft's Education Edition. "Technology is a tool to transform education and bring to life methods that used to be unthinkable when it comes to teaching," said Daniel Maia, manager for academic projects at Microsoft Brazil. "The project on UNESCO's world heritage sites opens the door for students all over the world to study important monuments of our history."

Canadian games developer Ubisoft also recognises technology's potential to resurrect lost monuments. When the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was ravaged by fire last month, the company made Assassin's Creed: Unity available to download free of charge, allowing players to explore the digital replica of the cathedral within the game. To find out how technology is being used to preserve and reframe cultural artefacts, see our Remixing History report.

Online multiplayer games like Minecraft or Fortnite are more than inconsequential pastimes – they are digital hangout spots. In 2018, 'Fortnite' Google searches outperformed queries for 'Trump', 'Brexit', 'Avengers' and 'Game of Thrones' (Google Trends, 2019). Earlier this month, global creative agency BBH revealed that the global market for gaming is bigger than that of the film and music industry combined. Digital worlds reflect the physical world we inhabit, and it is time marketers worked to make their brands part of those spaces.

For more on the engagement opportunities in gaming, check out The State of Esports.

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