Throughout the past year, we’ve seen a large uptick in people speaking up and fighting for societal progress. While we continue to demand systemic, positive change towards equity and equality, it’s essential to educate the next generation about the movements of the past and of today, and what they can teach us about making progress benefiting all.
Earlier this year, the Minecraft Education Program announced their newest lesson plan: Lessons in Good Trouble, created to educate children on social justice issues, and inspire activism. The program will lead young people through a Minecraft world, teaching about the importance of speaking up and how this simple act fueled large social justice movements like Women’s suffrage or the Civil Rights movement in the United States.
Developers have created a world with non-player characters (NPCs) representing real-life activists like John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Emmeline Pankhurst, that lead players through activities.
Each event has its own landscape designed to help immerse players in the lesson and teach about social justice in an engaging way. The NPCs guide the players through the interactive landscapes, telling stories, and meeting at checkpoints to explain the importance of these events and the ‘good trouble’ associated with them.
As John Lewis once explained, good trouble is doing what you believe is right when others don’t see from the same side. Lessons In Good Trouble aims to inspire players to take action. To quote Lewis, progress requires us to “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”
Along with the online setup to play through, the program includes an actual lesson plan to provoke thought about these issues and promote activism in player’s lives, even just by standing up for someone being picked on. By promoting, protecting others, and speaking up when something isn’t right, Lessons In Good Trouble have the potential to raise young activists in a world that still needs changing.
All too often in our modern world, someone will see something and begin to speak up about it, just to be silenced. Some people hear these voices and stand with them, but too many people worry about stirring up trouble. Teaching the next generations to stand with others in solidarity and to call for action when something isn’t right can change the world for the better, promoting unity and equality between all.
Minecraft’s Lessons In Good Trouble can inspire activism around the world and spark a feeling of empowerment within young minds that can make a change. As the late John Lewis once said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”