PLEASE NOTE: The Wonderful World of Humanities map and page are maintained by Eric Walker. It is not officially supported by MinecraftEdu, but many teachers have had success using it in their classrooms. It is an advanced World and requires additional installations and setup. MinecraftEdu beginners may wish to start with simpler play sessions. For support with the Wonderful World of Humanities, please check this thread on the Minecraft Teachers Google Group.
Running The Wonderful World of Humanities
You will need MinecraftEdu 1.7.10 stable build 20 or later to run the game correctly. You can download the latest version by clicking on the "Updates" button in your MinecraftEdu launcher.
World of Humanities will NOT work with the new Microsoft Education Edition of Minecraft (there are not yet enough features to support World of Humanities). Hopefully this will change in the future! But for now, you need MinecraftEdu 1.7.10 stable build 20 or later.
A vast, virtual environment that simulates exploration of ancient history. It plays similarly to a "World of Warcraft" RPG, in that it engages students with the discovery of ancient history and geography. Students can discover areas themed to ancient civilizations, go on quests, meet characters from history, and collaborate to build themed projects from history.
Students earn experience points, gain levels, collect rare items that they can wear to differentiate themselves from other players, and gain coins and riches as they complete quests and learn about history. Includes over 500 pages of written text broken into easily-digestible and fun factoids, quests, in-game books, dialogue, videos, and internet links.
Please read through this instructions packet for much more detail: Instructions Packet for Students
(note that several sections of this packet are intended for my personal students only, such as the specifics of installation on their home computers)
Follow all download and installation directions carefully below.
You can visit this forum thread for questions, comments, and technical assistance: Google Group Link
News article about WoH: Intel Interview
Book featuring a chapter on WoH: Minecraft in the Classroom
Interview (outdated version of the world)
Areas and Content
Will the content of World of Humanities complement your curriculum? Here are many of the areas that currently exist in the world:
- The Humanities Treehouse – a starting area with a tutorial and training section, and teleport stations allowing for instant travel to many important locations throughout the world
- The Valley of Geography – students explore common geographical features and read about geographical influence on societal development and agriculture
- Ancient Egypt – a pyramid, Sphinx, archaeological dig site, and Royal Palace that provide a tour of the ancient Egyptian civilization and how modern scientists have rediscovered it
- Cleopatra's Palace - students meet the famous "Last Pharaoh of Egypt", and through conversations and quests, learn of the tenuous relationships that bind powerful empires
- Mesopotamia – where students can create an irrigation system and learn about the beginnings of agrarian society, as well as the “seven characteristics of a civilization”. Students can carve their own personal achievements into a Mesopotamian achievement stele
- Ancient Babylon – showing the progression from small city-states, to early civilizations, to vast empires
- Mali and the Sahara Desert – students follow trade routes to discover the oral traditions of middle Africa
- Ancient Greece – students meet the great philosophers who founded Western civilization, and can work to recreate schools following the educational philosophies of Athens or Sparta. Students can also explore Greek mythology by journeying to Mount Olympus and meeting the gods and goddesses
- Mount Olympus - after students reach level 40 through questing and exploring, they are granted access to visit the home of the gods in Greek mythology. Students will be able to converse with the Twelve Olympians, learn the details of Greek mythology and its influence on modern arts and literature, and undertake heroic quests
- Ancient Rome – where Julius Caesar introduces students to the complex politics and government systems of a stratified society
- Ancient China – a “hidden kingdom” where players can learn about the advanced technology and rich culture of dynastic China
- Ancient India – where students make connections between the earliest Indus River civilizations and the spread of religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, and can attempt to climb a challenging replica of Mt. Everest
- Medieval Times – an introduction to the feudal system and the high, chivalrous adventure of knights and castles (where students can join a medieval community by building their own houses, or even compete in a non-violent battle arena)
- Meso-America – an island with temples representing the Maya, Inca, and Aztec civilizations. Students observe and possibly join the conflict between the Spanish conquistadors and the indigenous peoples
- The Great Library of Alexandria – a repository of dozens of short stories with connections to Language Arts
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria – students learn about the importance of sea trade in ancient empires, and meet one of the greatest explorers/conquerors of history, Alexander the Great
- The Fairytale Forest – a dense and mysterious forest full of the European mythology known commonly as “fairy tales” (with further connections to Language Arts)
- The Sky Timeline – a 3D recreation of history, where students can “walk through time” and make connections and comparisons between all the historical eras found within WoH
- Skull Island – a scary (but educational) exploration of death and the afterlife myths of various cultures (especially Egypt)
- Isles of Mythology – floating islands that trace a path through the stages of storytelling that originated with Greek myths, and a 3D recreation of the plot diagram where students can climb the stages of a story (with direct connections to Language Arts)
- Volcanic Isle – students explore connections between Humanities and Science through the relationships between geography, geology, and conservation
- Arab and Islamic Worlds – covers the content our international school was required to teach by the Kuwait Ministry of Education (while making it significantly more interesting, understandable, and applicable to general history)
- Coral Island of Creativity – a free-building area for students to practice their 3D design skills and sense of spatial awareness
- Carved Caves – a system of underground caves and mines, with connections to Science through geological features. Students can also carve their own structures into the rock
- Galleon of the Explorers – a chance to meet the great explorers of history, including one of the greatest (but lesser-known) explorers, Ibn Battuta
- The Mysterious Clocktower and the City of the Future – students challenge themselves to reach the top of a strange, juxtaposed clock tower and find themselves traveling through time to the future, where they make connections between the influences of ancient history and our own modern lives. Students also meet the leaders of two groups in conflict: the Ancient Scholars, who seek to protect the artifacts of the past so that all may learn from them, and the time-travelling Minecrosoft Agents, who wish to sell ancient artifacts to modern private buyers. Students unravel the storyline of their conflict and eventually choose a side to align with, and reap various rewards depending on their choices
- Undersea Bio Dome – further connections to Science and the importance of preservation and conservation for our world and our own history
- Many more!
Please follow these instructions carefully. They are quite a bit simpler than the old version! Note that while the install files below are modified versions of the MinecraftEdu installation file, all MinecraftEdu files have been removed from them. You will, of course, need to have already purchased and installed MinecraftEdu in order to play World of Humanities.
After following all the below instructions, you can enter the world by starting the Server Launcher, and choosing "Select Saved World". Click on "World of Humanities 2016", and then click the "Start Server with Selected Saved World" button.
- If you have any of these mods already installed: Custom NPCs, Backpack, Animal Bikes, or GLSL Shaders - you should delete them on both teacher and student computers. The Teacher and Students files will replace them with the newest versions that the map requires. If you never installed these mods before, you can skip this step.
- If you have a previous version of World of Humanities installed on your computer, you may get a message about mods being in the wrong folder. This is because recent versions of MinecraftEdu have changed the mods folder location. Choose "open mod folder" and delete the old mod ZIP and JAR files from the mods folder. The new mods will be located in /mods/1.7.10/. If you don't have an old version of World of Humanities, you can skip this step.
- Download this Teachers' file, and double-click on it to begin the install procedure. Make sure you set it to install into your existing /minecraftedu folder on the teacher's server computer. The program may try to create a second /minecrafedu folder INSIDE your existing /minecraftedu folder - don't let it do that! Make sure you have selected the folder on your computer that /minecraftedu is in. If you don't know how to do this, just ask your school's tech expert! :)
- Download this Students' file, and follow the same procedure to install it inside the /minecraftedu folder on each student computer.
- Once you've started up the game, go to Options and then Resource Packs. Select World of Humanities MEDIUM. If your computers are old and slow, you can select LOW. Make sure the resource pack is listed above the MinecraftEdu resource pack. This will replace the textures in the game with higher-resolution textures that the world requires. This step should be done by the teacher and all the students.
- If you would like to have labels on the in-game minimap, you should go into this directory: minecraftedu/minecraft/config/rei_minimap and rename the file "localhost.DIM0.points" to include your server's address. So if you are hosting at the IP address 123.45.678 for example, you should rename the file as "123.45.678.DIM0.points". You will need to do this on each student's computer, unfortunately. It will still work fine if you don't do this, your students just won't see labels on their maps in the game.
- ENJOY and LEARN! :)
NOTE: I strongly suggest switching your Left Click and Right Click in the options menu (Controls section). Most everything in the World of Humanities requires the default Minecraft Right Click, which can become very tiring on a mouse, or annoying on a laptop touchpad where two-finger clicking is required.
Latest Update Additions
Here are the newest additions to the world, included in the latest update.
World Last Updated: Jan. 28th, 2018
- New area: Feudal Japan, including many characters, quests, and activities based on Japan's medieval history
- Dozens of fixed in-game links (red Link Blocks). Sorry about the old broken links, but they are not always in my control.
- Many additional quests and characters in existing areas.
- New area under construction (to be completed by students in the hopefully near-future): Renaissance Italy
- Master Quiz is no longer working - please contact me if you know of a good quiz program that can post online for open access. For now, you as a teacher can allow top-level students access to the Elite Tower in the Treehouse by opening the doors for them or teleporting them in, after you think they have mastered the game.
- Many new student-designed areas, including Mount Olympus, Cleopatra's Palace, a Greek amphitheater, Meso-America additions, the Temple of Poseidon, the Greek Underworld, and more.
- Higher-resolution textures for many items and objects.
- New quests and dialogue inserted around the world.
- New highest-graphics shader option added.
- Updated to MinecraftEdu version 1.7.10.
- Many new items and decorations from the latest CustomNPCs added to the world.
- Several new quests relating to updated content. Search for the "glowing" student somewhere in the Humanities Treehouse, and apparently a bedouin camper has been having some strange dreams...
- Updated a few textures, such as the intro screen and the Edu number/symbol blocks.
- Experience points (XP) and levels matter now! Many areas of the world will not be open to players until they have successfully completed a certain amount of quests and gained a certain amount of levels. The XP bar and current player level will always be visible at the bottom of the screen. Quests that are the most difficult, or require the most content knowledge to complete, will give the largest amounts of XP. This should add an extra level of engagement and motivation for reading/learning in students.
- Several "Scavenger Masters" can be found near the entrances to major sections of the world. Students can download a PDF scavenger hunt, fill it in as they explore and read, and then recite the correct answers to the Scavenger Masters for large rewards. These scavenger hunts will also help prepare students for the Grand Master Quiz in the Humanities Treehouse - perhaps the most challenging task in the whole World of Humanities.
- A new post system, where students can receive letters in the mail from characters and quests, and can also send letters to each other. Many existing quests and dialogues have been updated to take advantage of this new feature.
- The "Plot Diagram" - a 3-D representation of the plot structure of storytelling can be explored near the Isles of Mythology. This ties into both Greek Mythology for Humanities and also English/Language Arts content areas.
- The "Elite Coral Island", a new free-building island only for higher-level players.
- New treasures and secret areas added around the world to increase motivation for exploration.
- New code words and badges.
- Content added to the areas between the Treehouse and Mesopotamia, encouraging movement towards the earlier civilizations. Characters and quests added, as well.
- Revision and updating of many characters, quests, and areas.
- A packet for parents, including a research paper on games in education and the use of the World of Humanities:
- Badges students can earn by finding the "secret code words" hidden around the world. Students cut these out and get to put them on a big "Wall of Scholars and Explorers" bulletin board in my room:
- Here's the "master list" of where all those codes are located so you can check student progress:
- Here's a good example of the digital citizenship learning possible in the world, a chat log of students playing:
- Extensive research report, written by a colleague of mine who helped create the "Refugee Camp" simulation area, and has done informal testing on the effectiveness of World of Humanities in the classroom: Research and Analysis
If you are having issues getting the world to "work", you can post a question to this Google Group thread and I will try to answer quickly: Google Group Link
I'm also now on Twitter. @ewalkeredu
Here are a few issues some teachers have run into, and how to fix them:
The world is just an empty Minecraft world - Make sure you have followed the instructions carefully, and installed to the correct folder on your computer (/minecraftedu, not /minecraftedu/minecraftedu). Also, make sure you are selecting the "WorldofHumanities2016" world from the server launcher, and your client is connecting to that server when you play.
Game doesn't launch ("end of stream" error), or the world is all black or all white - Even though the advanced shader graphics are disabled by default, it seems some older computers crash because of the Shaders Mod. Delete the file "Shaders.jar" from the /minecraftedu/minecraft/mods/1.7.10/ folder on all client (teacher and students) computers.
Error messages about mod files - Delete the old versions of mods you may have had before you installed World of Humanities, and delete any zip or jar files you have in the /minecraftedu/minecraft/mods/ folder and the minecraftedu/servertool/server/mods/ folder. Delete those two types of files, but do not delete any FOLDERS you have in those locations, such as your /1.7.10/ folder or the /rei_minimap/ folder.
Problems with the NPCs and quests - Be sure you are using the CustomNPCs mod included with the World of Humanities download, and not another version of the mod that you had downloaded previously.