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Teaching element analysis and feedback loops with Minecraft?

 
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Location: Lake Elsinore, Riverside County, California, USA
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My partner and I have a vision of using Minecraft to teach Permaculture to tech-immersed kids!
We're not quite up to speed for video production yet.

But here's a network of element analysis we did on the sub-genre of Minecraft called "Skyblock":


And a hand-drawn element analysis for two types of farms in normal survival Minecraft:


And here's some pictures of those two farms.
Riverbed sugarcane farm:


Wheat/oak tree floodhill:


We plan to post more stuff here (someday): https://www.whitestonesociety.org/permaculture
 
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My kids have been into Roblox, and was thinking that it would be cool if there was a game there that would have permaculture games. There's a Minecraft copycat game in Roblox called Islands but I get annoyed by the unrealistic and limited uses of some of the elements. (Like compost only accepting fish and only producing fertilizer) However in its defence it's still a relatively new game. The kids have just downloaded Minecraft (they got an educational version from school?!) So I don't know much about it yet.
 
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Oh... I like this idea....

I have been working on converting a topo of my 80ish acres into a minecraft map (unsuccessfully thus far) with the idea to 'build' virtually in the game. (There is an old coal mine, I have a sawmill, I tease that I do minecraft in real life)

I like what you are doing here working on more of the principles as well. There can likely be more 'lessons' wrapped around the concept as well. You going to have some reading of the texts and maybe do some build challenges?

I have noticed that my builds in the game are trending towards permaculture principles - I build in zones and do function stacking and such.   One example is my terraced fields with water harvesting has a strip down the middle where I plant trees. I can chop my trees and harvest the crops and the tree drops get swept down to the item collection along with the crops. (probably the same as your wheat and tree flood farm)  Automatic beehives drop into the collection water streams as well.

With the new release yesterday, and starting a new world today, I am going to double down on my own permaculture design within my Minecraft builds.
 
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I have a 6-year old computationally inclined child at home right now and I would be VERY interested in something like this. In fact I would probably be playing it myself. As far as I know Skyblock is already in her menu.
 
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Maybe I was overlapping your ideas with this... https://permies.com/t/144293/Davin-planting-planner-app-idea
 
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There are some nature-themed modpacks for Minecraft like Botania, I wonder if one could be forked into a permaculture focused theme?
 
Christian Wolird
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Yeah! I've seen people online use Minecraft for layout and real-world planning (like you say you're doing as well). But the gameplay itself lends itself well to permaculture principles and I haven't found anyone else who deliberately incorporates permaculture into Minecraft gameplay.

My most recent "build challenge" has been quick house construction using trees and mushrooms. The idea is
1) plant a tree and wait for it to grow (or bonemeal it)
2) chop the logs and plant a brown mushroom beneath the leaves before they decay. Mushrooms can only be placed in sufficient shade.
3) Bone meal the brown mushroom creating the house roof.
4) Then plant four trees in the corners of the house (so creating a 7x7 square). Birch and oak work well.
5) Harvest the leaves from these trees with shears (except along the border of the house). This creates walls.
6) Build out the walls with the leaves harvested from inside/outside. And place doors (which you can craft with wood from the first tree).

This values renewable resources and makes multifunctional use of the plants.

The one problem is that this uses up shears pretty quickly -- which aren't easily renewable. The red mushrooms can be made into houses more easily but are a bit cramped. Perhaps they're a good target for tiny-house designing. It's funny to think so but would probably work out very well.

Another option is to grow the brown mushroom as described (steps 1 - 3) but then create the four walls with four red mushrooms; grown similarly (i.e. using a tree as low-labor and resource-producing shade). The gaps can be filled with some kind of wooden block and the interiors of the four mushrooms would function as extra rooms; say one for storage; one for crafting/smelting/brewing; one for a bedroom; one for enchanting; etc.

Mike Creuzer wrote:Oh... I like this idea....

I have been working on converting a topo of my 80ish acres into a minecraft map (unsuccessfully thus far) with the idea to 'build' virtually in the game. (There is an old coal mine, I have a sawmill, I tease that I do minecraft in real life)

I like what you are doing here working on more of the principles as well. There can likely be more 'lessons' wrapped around the concept as well. You going to have some reading of the texts and maybe do some build challenges?

I have noticed that my builds in the game are trending towards permaculture principles - I build in zones and do function stacking and such.   One example is my terraced fields with water harvesting has a strip down the middle where I plant trees. I can chop my trees and harvest the crops and the tree drops get swept down to the item collection along with the crops. (probably the same as your wheat and tree flood farm)  Automatic beehives drop into the collection water streams as well.

With the new release yesterday, and starting a new world today, I am going to double down on my own permaculture design within my Minecraft builds.

 
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