You are a member of a the last settlers in the world, explorers, and animal experts out to inhabit the remenants of a scary world. You’ve traveled for weeks living off of rations that your party set aside for the trip, but this morning the last of the reserve supply ran out. Suddenly a leader in your party has come up with an idea. The only way to survive in this ruined world... Create a new civilization. Stop living as a nomadic society. And most importantly you need animals! You have been told that soon anything outside of the mesa will die. Your time is short, you must work as a team to create a perfect society for all animals and monsters to survive.
Participants enter the extinction challenge with only plots of land sectioned off by gravel, and chests filled with minimal supplies, maps and fences. Students should be given Axes in order to create pens, but other than that nothing else should be provided. Students will need to collaborate to find items to lure animals and create pens and structures to keep animals and monsters from hurting each other. The teacher should stay in the main area so that the animals the students lure do not despawn. Through the use of the maps, students will be able to find a nearby plain with several animals there.
Exploring a System
Participants may have certain expectations about how to lure animals and what areas animals are located in. Students will need to understand the time limitations for this assignment, and the necessity for these animals to survive. Because they are also hungry they will need to breed the animals for food.
Some questions for guiding participants include:
- What animals can be found in minecraft?
- What items are used to lure each of these animals?
How will you find the biomes that the animals are located in?
- How will you keep your animals and monsters from killing each other?
- Why do you need the monsters at all?
When participants are comfortable with how water functions in Minecraft they can be challenges to develop a system of irrigation that networks. This activity is perfect for pre-planning and group work but can also be used as an opportunity to do quick, free form exploration. Participants should think about how to structure the settlement as a whole. Planned building could involve participants designing paper models of the settlement before constructing it in Minecraft. Roleplaying can occur within game or in separate sessions regarding planning, work allocation, and priority allotment, challenging players to
Consider the following prompts:
- How will we survive in only a mesa?
- Have participants calculate the distance between pens and what proper pen sizes are.
- Consider safety for the animals, how will they protect the animals from monsters? How will they store the monsters? Traps?
- What features of the landscape are helpful for building? What are obstacles?
- Participants can also calculate how long the characters in the world would take to build the planned settlement, accounting for time to eat, sleep, and relax. How should they budget their time for leisure activities with work?
- Participants can allocate priority to essential tasks. What tasks need to be addressed immediately and what can wait?