Walter thinks that the next big Social Network will be Minecraft. I think he might be on to something. Our kids either love playing it or watching their older siblings do so.
Over the weekend, it was announced that the Pocket Edition was being ported to the Raspberry Pi. I was excited but our eldest son pooh-poohed the news since he has tried Pocket on his Android phone and it doesn’t compare to the full thing.
But then came the kicker: you’ll be able to access it programatically in any language over a network connection! As they point out in the blogpost today:
The more creative programmer will only be limited by their imagination. Want to build a digital clock into the wall of your house which displays the real time? Easy. Want to get back at a friend who stole your precious diamonds? Remove the floor from underneath their feet and let them fall into a pit of lava. The possibilities are endless.
If the future is mobile, then is Pocket Minecraft on Raspberry Pi = the Tween replacement for Twitter?
This is a big deal. I can’t wait to try it.
UPDATE 1: I just realised the GPIO pins on the RPi mean that it should be possible to connect haptic/gesture/wiimote/any interfaces to Minecraft. Or have people been doing that already on the PC version? I’ve just ordered a Makey Makey and you could have huge fun with that.
I’ll always remember the months I spent building a data graphing application for the ZX Spectrum for a schools programming competition back in the 80s. You ain’t seen a piechart until you’ve seen a Spectrum colour-clash pie-chart like that. Of course I didn’t even get a mention, let alone win the thing. Bitter? Me? Never.
So pass this on to your kids. Given the damned weather, it’s not like they can go outside anyway. I think I’ll try and get our eldest to do the RPi part of our doorbell project.
If you don’t have an RPi yet, you can use an emulator.
For the past two months, we have been conducting a closed test of the system for an increasing number of testers, and we’ve currently scaled to 5000 testers. Today, we’re taking the next step, and opening the MIT App Inventor service to everyone. All you will need is a Google ID for log-in (for example, a Gmail account).
Really happy for the MIT team, they’ve done a great job getting App Inventor moved whilst nailing a bunch of annoying bugs. It now works on Internet Explorer too, which was a major pain point for us in our kids’ school.
If you want a gentle introduction to programming and mobile Apps, whether you are an adult or kid, I can’t recommend App Inventor highly enough.