"How do you do fellow kids, tell me more of your 'Mining Craft'..."
This is hilarious. Woolworths is getting into Minecraft. Bear with me here, this is probably going to take some explaining...
So, if you shop at Woolworths you may have noticed the tellers asking you if you "collect the cards"? I am a parent so I do collect the cards. If you don't have children it's likely that you don't collect the cards.
What are the cards?
It's called 'Ancient Animals' and basically it's a set of collectable cards that you receive every time you spend a set amount of money at Woolworths. My two-year-old (like most two-year-olds) loves dinosaurs, so he loves the Ancient Animals gimmick. He loves the cards because they have dinosaurs and what-not on them.
What does this have to do with Minecraft? Well... Woolworths is now attempting to take its Ancient Animals INTO Minecraft for some reason.
(That reason probably being that every kid on the planet is obsessed with Minecraft).
I'm going to post the opening paragraphs of this press release because it's the best:
Woolworths is bringing the world of ancient animals to life in a new virtual world with the global gaming phenomenon, Minecraft.
In a world first for supermarkets, Woolworths has worked with developers to create a custom Ancient Animals in Minecraft ‘map’ that allows children to explore the habitats of dinosaurs and discover more about their history.
Minecraft is a game that challenges players to be creative and build any kind of structure made from 3D cubes, and has a 13+ year age recommendation. It has been dubbed a ‘sandbox’ video game because it allows users to play around, explore and create what they want, like kids in a sandpit.
Since its launch in 2011, more than 70 million users around the world have been mining and crafting blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats.
That might be the best description of Minecraft I've ever read. It's a 'sandbox' video game because it allows children to explore... like kids in a sandpit!
Essentially, Woolworths has worked with developers to create a Minecraft map where children can interact with the Ancient Monsters from their card game. From the press release: "Ancient Animals in Minecraft will help children learn about the prehistoric world. The game is designed to foster creativity, logic and problem solving, creativity and team work."
"We’re excited about the opportunity to work with Minecraft in a world first for a supermarket chain," said Woolworths Head of Sponsorships and Events, Karen Madden It’s a landmark move for us to be able use this gaming technology to inspire and entertain our customers.
"Not only does Minecraft extend the educational and creative aspect of our Ancient Animals Collectibles program but also creates a form of learning for families that is fun and interactive. We’re looking forward to seeing what children create in these new worlds."
Jokes aside — this is an interesting move, and it's testament to the mainstream power of Minecraft and it's influence among young children. Could you have imagined this happening two, three years ago? It's crazy.
And I do sympathise with Woolworths to an extent. Sure, this is a scheme to attract children and — therefore — parents to shop at Woolworths over Aldi or Coles, but communicating the message of Minecraft to a certain subset of parents must be a nightmare.
Regardless — still better than Curtis Stone. YOUR MOVE COLES.
Also: this exists.