We're big fans of Minecraft here at Battenhall HQ. News has come out overnight that a new initiative from Code.org and Microsoft is being launched that will help teach kids to code using Minecraft.
As reported on MSDN: "The new Minecraft module is part of Code.org's third annual Hour of Code, a worldwide campaign that tries to demystify code by teaching the basics of computer science in just an hour. The Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week from December 7 - 13. If users sign up for the free Hour of Code Minecraft module, they'll learn how to use blocks of code to make Steve or Alex, the two main character skins from the game, adventure through a Minecraft world. Other modules, including some based on Star Wars, "Frozen" and other popular content, are also available on the Code.org site."
To use coding to build game characters is a fantastic way to convey the basics of software programming and give someone the creative spark for all things digital. Speaking from first hand experience, as I taught myself how to code doing precisely what this Minecraft initiative is doing - building a gaming character, albeit not on anything that looked like Minecraft, I think this will bring about some amazing results.