Dear Microsoft, about this game you’ve bought.

I understand that you’ve bought Minecraft. Not just the game, or even a development license, but the entire development studio, lock, stock and barrel, minus the guy who came up with it in the first place.

Now, I can see why you think it’s a good move. It’s a really popular game. Although I’m seeing a lot of people saying it’s passed its peak, it still seems to be going pretty strong in this house. And that’s what I’m writing to you about.

You see, I’m a little bit worried. We go back a long way, you and me, Microsoft. I remember Windows 3.1. Word, before the irritating clippy thing. (I *think* there was a Word before the irritating clippy thing, wasn’t there?) I also remember some of the OS incarnations that I think we’d all rather forget.

I don’t ever remember you being very good at letting people explore your software. Modify it. Extend it. And that’s one of the amazing things about Minecraft, the fact that children playing it are inspired to learn to code so that they can extend the game. My own son is breaking into java (he’s 11, by the way, not terribly old) so that he can explore making his own mods. It’s a central feature of his home education plan this year.

So you can understand that I’m a bit worried about what your plans are for the whole Minecraft universe. I don’t really know what you want out of the deal. And I’d appreciate if you’d remember that a whole load of the people playing minecraft, loving it, talking about it, writing about it, learning to code because of it, are children. And it’s really really important to them.

Really important. For so many of our children, it’s a central feature of their lives. They learn so much from it, and not just coding. Not just game stuff. It gives them common ground, when they come together from different schools, or no school. It’s an interest that so many of them share. It’s a common language and I’m not talking about java here. It’s so much more than just a game, Microsoft, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d respect what you’ve got.

Please don’t mess it up.



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