It is no news that children acquire new skills by playing. But is it possible that the new simulation games and building games, like Minecraft, to shape the new generation of contractors and building designers? Furthermore, can the construction industry to keep up with the new ideas and skills that the Minecraft generation has?
When you think about computer games, you don’t automatically think of a step to a new career. But by playing Minecraft kids learn valuable skills to excel in the constructions and architectural fields.
The premise of Minecraft, for those who are not familiar with the games, is that you have to build buildings by mining different types of materials. You can say that you can do the same thing with Lego. But Minecraft is much more complicated, and two of the main differences are: not all blocks can be mixed and you can’t build different buildings on some terrains. Of course, there is the adventure factor to take into consideration. As Joel Chappell, tech commentator notes: “It’s like building something out of Lego after you made and moulded the plastic and dyed it with plants that you grew yourself, and then going on an adventure inside it through forests and deserts while monsters are chasing you”.
The game is designed to entertain. But the skills and knowledge you acquire by playing it can be harnessed in real life. You have to take into consideration the environment, the biomes and the materials you have available before you start building something. And, of course, you have to build steady structures that will withstand the monster attacks. You can also pair up with other players in order to emphasize your creativity and build unique establishments.
“Craft Your Future” was created by the Charted Institute of Building in order to stimulate young learners, in collaboration with design teams, to create buildings in Newtown, a specially created city in the Minecraft world. But this is not the lone example of organizations involving the Minecraft world and players. A replica of the Armagh College was built by Northern Ireland players, and Sioux Steel involved players to the lunch of their site.
The building industry is changing fast. The new generation of designers knows how important it is to use programs and algorithms. The initial concept will take most of the focus, as the documentation can be done by a program. And these skills are useful in other industries as well, so the construction industry must learn to compete with other branches as the tech one, which has more money.
Automation is the word that will define the new digital natives. This is because they understood from an early age that they should find the components that fit together and that they should be creative in their approach to their art. The shortage skills the world currently faces will fade, because the new ones will replace them. This means that the new buildings will be unique, reliable and sturdy.
One issue that arises from this idea is that the digital natives still need formal education in architecture and construction to develop a fully functional project, as in Minecraft doesn’t integrate, for example, electricity and fire resistance in the contractions. But even though now right now the stimulation doesn’t offer these requirements, in the future Minecraft or some other game will.
Of course, there is another argument that should be discussed. Traditional architectural education, which is very expensive, should adapt to the new needs and skills. As the technology is developing, so should the educational system be constantly renewed.
The future sounds radical, such as developing skills through Minecraft. And if you are a skeptic, bear in mind that The World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of the children now in school will end up in jobs that are not current and in a few years will not exist anymore. Also, Dell Technologies forecasts that in 15 years 85% of the jobs on the market have yet to be invented.
Few people doubt that technology is changing the world at a fast pace. The future will depend more on creativity than the world does now. Right now, designers learn new skills and they practice then through playing games. The construction industry can profit from the existing platforms, as will many others.