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Snap is an amazing piece of work, but like every masterpiece, it can always be improved. Here’s what Snap! can learn from the popular video game Minecraft.

Social: The reason that I spent the last 5 years playing Minecraft was because my friends were playing along with me. I would have quit ages ago if it weren’t for that social element. It wasn’t just synchronously creating and exploring the same 3D world together, most of the time we were in the same room so we could talk easily, and when we weren’t together, we used Minecraft’s chat (more recently we also use Discord). Snap! could allow programmers to code together on the same project (like Google Docs), talk through a chat window, and then even play in the same project together. Imagine a game of Poker coded by and played with many people together.

Competition: A second reason why I played Minecraft so long was the competitions, I got really into “PvP” (player versus player combat), and it was a lot of fun playing on big minecraft servers against other players from all around the world. There's also big “hackathon” competitions hosted by the game and not the fanbase, such as https://www.competitionsciences.org/2020/10/27/you-wont-want-to-miss-the-2021-rube-goldberg-machine-minecraft-contest-heres-why/. Snap could host competitions where they have to solve a problem given to them, an example would be re-creating the scrolling T-Rex no-wifi game on chrome, the first five people to solve it get their name on a leaderboard, creating a drive within the Snap! community and having it push each other forward to become better computer scientists.

Gamification: Minecraft has achievements for doing different things: https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Achievement. There becomes a sense of competition (see above) between friends as everybody can see achievements in the group chat box. Snap! could give people achievements for creating their first 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 blocks, or using particular sets of blocks, or recursion for the first time.

Duration:
20 min
Room:
Room 2
Conference:
Snap!Con 2021

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