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TitleInvestigating the lived experience of an after-school Minecraft club
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Page 238


Ben announces his entry with a celebratory call of 'Boom! I'm on!' Already there

are signs of destruction in the game's landscape (Tom suggest as a result of

‘griefing') and a notion of space belonging to people (Tom: 'that's Mia's bit…

that's everyone's bit'). It is only week two and already this 'community space' is

subject to private land ownership and antisocial behaviour!

Ben begins by seeking instruction: 'Where do I go? What do you want me to do?'

For Ben, at this early stage, building in the game is about complying with

instructions, deferring to Tom, perhaps a sign of being new to the club. (In later

weeks, Ben establishes himself and often acts as the driving force behind a

number of building projects.) The words 'Minecraft Edu Launcher' appear on-

screen, prompting a player to sing, which is then repeated by another player at a

higher pitch. Ben and Tom seem to have already discussed that Ben should create

a fountain. Nevertheless, he still checks this with Tom, repeating 'What type of

fountain do you want' four times, the final time adopting a silly voice. Getting no

response, he repeatedly calls Tom's name, eventually turning this into a tune.

Ben's suggests using 'cobble stone' instead of 'normal bland stone', as he

negotiates his choices from the inventory; this is clearly his preferred choice as he

qualifies it with a persuasive statement that 'that'll look real nice!' The use of

'real' as opposed to 'really' sounds like a purposeful choice, as if using someone

else's voice to enforce his point. Tom replies with a spontaneous rap, repeating

the words 'cobble', rhymed with 'hobble'.

Rob's attempt to impress with his avatar's invisibility is quickly dismissed as Ben

returns to his task, again asking Tom 'How big do you want it to be?', repeated

three times. In the absence of a response he states his intention to 'do it five by

five' and begins to place blocks. When he sees Lisa's avatar he suggests that her

name should be 'YOLISA' (a reference to the acronym 'YOLO' meaning 'You Only

Live Once' which appears multiple times during the club, spoken and in writing).

Callum declares his intention to spawn a giant, although this fails to arrive,

presumably as giants are disabled in this version. I have not consciously 'disabled

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