Minecraft map is right up your street!

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Whether you’re in Ballykeel or Ballycraigy you are now able to play minecraft on a map of your home district!

A brand new ‘Minecraft NI map’, launched this week, means that for the first time, the game can be played in a 3D virtual layout of Northern Ireland.

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in history, with over 100 million downloads since its launch in 2009. In the game, players build, explore and play in a virtual world that now includes Northern Ireland.

The map, which is free to download for PC and Mac versions of the game, has been developed using Land & Property Service’s Ordnance Survey NI (OSNI) digital mapping data.

Speaking at the launch at the PlayBall summer scheme in Stormont, the Minister said: “The Minecraft game has been hugely successful across the world, not least with our young people in Northern Ireland. This exciting new development will allow people here to play the game across all of Northern Ireland, in places that are familiar to them. Gamers can have a go at building structures including the Giant’s Causeway, the Marble Arch caves, their school or even their own house!

“It’s important to recognise that this is about more than just playing a game. Minecraft inspires a high level of engagement and creativity in young people and it is an excellent tool for teaching children about a wide range of topics including geography, science, technology, engineering and computer coding.”

The new Minecraft NI world contains more than five billion blocks, each representing 12.5 square metres and equates to an area of almost 14,000km2. Once players have downloaded the map into Minecraft, they will be able to freely explore, build and create across the whole of Northern Ireland in a map based on OSNI’s digital maps.

The Minecraft NI map is available to download for PC and Mac versions of the game at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/osni-minecraft-ni-map.