Wednesday 7 December 2016

Great Fire of London recreated in Minecraft for museum

Published 19/07/2016 | 19:31

Minecraft was bought by Microsoft in 2014
Minecraft was bought by Microsoft in 2014

The Great Fire of London has been turned into an virtual experience using popular game Minecraft as part of the Museum of London's educational events to mark the 350th anniversary of the fire.

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The game, which was bought by Microsoft in 2014, enables players to build entire worlds from scratch using individual blocks.

Called Great Fire 1666, this version consists of three different maps that will be made available for free to Mac and PC users, beginning on July 29, with a second in September and then a final version in February.

The aim is to educate young people on the disaster, with each of the maps containing mini-games and audio clips to help users understand the different elements of the 1666 disaster.

Joshua Blair, the digital learning co-ordinator at the Museum of London, said: "Minecraft is an incredible game that captivates and inspires users of all ages around the world.

"Its reach and versatility offers museums a fantastic platform to share our knowledge and collections, and create engaging experiences.

"The Great Fire of London is one of the most popular topics within our learning programme, which currently reaches about 130,000 schoolchildren each year, and we hope that Great Fire 1666 will create a fun learning experience that can engage every young person in this fascinating story."

The first map is based on Bohemian etcher Wenceslaus Hollar's map of burnt London, from the museum's own collection, and gives users the chance to move through the streets of the city, searching for and listening to clips that explain some of the circumstances that led to the fire.

The second, which will launch around the anniversary of the fire on September 2, will revolve around a series of mini-games where users must help evacuate homes and engage with famous figures of the age to make decisions.

The final map will give players the chance to rebuild the city based on the architectural plans of Christopher Wren and John Evelyn.

A series of events to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire, including exhibitions and talks, are taking place at the Museum from July 23 until April next year.

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