The Polish government has launched a Minecraft server for housebound kids

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In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, Poland has shut its schools until at least April 10. While online classes are widespread, there's still the problem of keeping housebound kids occupied. The Polish government thinks it has the answer: among other initiatives, it has just launched a Minecraft server.

Grarantanna (opens in new tab)is the name of the initiative, and it packages up a bunch of mostly educational activities ranging quizzes, game jams, online pen-and-paper sessions, and a Minecraft server. The creative server is open to elementary, high school and college students, with each player entitled to a 60x60 plot. Awards will be doled out to the most impressive builds, with players encouraged to recreate "known buildings". The competition is open from now until March 27.

It's a pretty good idea: Minecraft is a pretty benign game in creative mode, and since there are over 112 active players every month (opens in new tab), a lot of people already have it installed. If you are a Polish student, you can learn about how to sign up here (opens in new tab).

It's not the first time Minecraft has factored in to people's self-isolation plans: in Japan, students are hosting their March graduation ceremonies on Minecraft servers (opens in new tab)

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.