Art Portfolios in Minecraft: a Game Changer with the Power to Affect All of US

Attention teachers, parents, young artists and Minecrafters,

Any avid Minecrafter knows how to put paintings on a wall in game. Imagine if you could choose any piece of artwork you want and with ease, import it into Minecraft; that would be really cool. But even better, imagine if the paintings or artwork were yours, your child’s or your students’. ! That’s a game changer! Literally!

Enter Creatubbles, “a safe social platform for creative kids.” Creatubbles allows kids to share their artwork with other kids around the world in a totally safe, curated environment. Kids “Like” each others’ artwork by adding a bubble on a removable layer of the photo of the piece. Kids aren’t counting likes, they’re counting bubbles! What kid doesn’t like bubbles?! What a wonderful way to foster a love of art in young people. Creatubbles is creating museum goers, maybe even museum creators of the future. And get this, it is absolutely free! Teachers can also create galleries for each one of their classes for students to upload their artwork to.

How does Minecraft come into play? The founder of Creatubbles noticed that kids were uploading screenshots of their Minecraft creations. This got them thinking about streamlining the process so players wouldn’t have to take a screenshot, leave the game, upload to Creatubbles and then go back into the game. They created a mod with a shortcut to allow players to upload their Minecraft screenshots directly to Creatubbles from inside the game. But then, and this is really cool, they created a pipeline going the other direction to allow kids to import photos of their own artwork into the game as “paintings.” One of my students “hung” his artwork above his bed in his house.

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Kids now have the power to become museum designers and curators. Imagine kids flying through the game as they create and screencast tours through galleries and museums of their own artwork as a portfolio piece for school describing their growth and thought-process for each piece. This opens up a whole new Minecraft landscape to explore and expand upon. Like Minecraft in its early years, who knows where kids could take this new idea.

To be fair, there are videos describing how to import photographs of anything into Minecraft, but these procedures involve technical rigamarole involving bin files and more that would deter almost anyone. The Creatubbles Minecraft mod is easy to use; once photographs of artwork are uploaded to Creatubbles, the uploading and placing into Minecraft is all done from within the game. No technical rigamarole!

The mod pack is now live and available. Below are three links. The first is to the Creatubbles website where you can create an account for yourself, your daughter or son and for your class if you are a teacher. Creatubbles doesn’t have to be used with Minecraft. Connecting with other young artists all over the world is wonderful enough. The second is a link to the directions on how to install the Minecraft mod and how to use it. The third is a link to a Global Challenge created by a 9 year old boy named Owen.

Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a young artist, or a Minecrafter, I am sure you can see the incredibly, powerful potential of this new tool. Leveraging the super engaging environment of Minecraft, the Creatubbles mod has the power to foster creativity, communication, collaboration, appreciation and empathy for children around the world. In this day, while countries and people seem more polarized than ever in their opinions and viewpoints, through the sharing of art, Creatubbles has the potential to bring young people together by revealing their similarities before their differences divide them.

I would love to know your thoughts. And as always, thank you for reading.

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