Turning the tide: A new Minecraft world is inspiring kids to tackle flooding and climate change


Comprised of flood walls, the use of glass panels and embankments, the new flood defenses in Preston aim to reduce the risk of a 2015-style disaster.

andy brown (Correct)Coastal Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency’s Area in Lancashire, said: “Flooding is a major problem here in Lancashire, but also more widely across the country, and it is one that is set to get bigger and bigger. difficult, so it’s really important that everyone focus on it and understand it.

“Minecraft is helping us engage with the public about how we manage flooding and coastal erosion in the context of climate change. Help young people in particular to understand what is happening and their role in it, because they are the ones who are going to face the harshest impacts of the climate emergency.

“One of the bright things about this collaboration with Minecraft is that these games will be available all over the world. If we can stimulate a small number of people to think: ‘my career of choice is something in science, technology, engineering or mathematics related to flood risk management in the future’, then it will be a great success for us.”

The journey from playing to learning is something that Minecraft excels at. That’s also why the Environment Agency and Minecraft approached BlockBuilders, Brighton-based experts in creating immersive worlds, to build Rivercraft.

Megan Leckie, co-founder and co-director of BlockBuilders, helps students at Archbishop Temple School explore the world of Rivercraft
Megan Leckie, co-founder and co-director of BlockBuilders, helps students at Archbishop Temple School explore the world of Rivercraft

Megan Leckie, co-founder and co-director of BlockBuilders, watched the Archbishop Temple School class as they explored the replica of Preston her company had been creating for four months.

She said: “We took the 3D data from Preston, which is freely available online, and turned it into a Minecraft world. But that data creates generic buildings, so we collected screenshots and images of Preston and added details to the structures to replicate what they look like in real life. When the kids were exploring, they felt a connection to this place in Minecraft because it looked exactly like their town. They are totally immersed in this experience.”