As parents all over the world are discovering, it can be a bit of challenge having kids home from school at all times without much notice. Whether it's finding educational television shows or movies for them to watch, or trying to get them to concentrate on studying while you work, any help is appreciated.
Microsoft's teams at Xbox and Mojang are clearly paying attention, though, and have moved quickly to make some more resources available to help young gamers find constructive, educational content.
In a new blog post, head of Xbox Phil Spencer has outlined a new category that's being added to the Minecraft Marketplace, bringing free educational content for young players to download and explore.
There are a range of experiences available, including a freely explorable Minecraft version of the International Space Station, built in partnership with NASA, a robot coding tutorial, a range of landmarks from Washington DC to visit, and many more. Plus, it being Minecraft, there could be effectively endless opportunities for this catalogue of material to expand over time.
The free content pack is now available, and will continue to be free until at least June 30th, according to the blog post.
Parental control as important as ever
Spencer also took the chance to reiterate the range parental controls available to families using an Xbox system, whether that be limits on screen time each day, gating mature content away from certain profiles, or using more advanced features like Copilot.
That feature, in case you haven't heard of it, lets you and your child both have a controller, the two controllers acting as one so that you can help them to navigate game worlds they can't quite manage on their own. It's basically a car with dual controls, but for gaming.
It's great to see this content being made freely available so quickly. We'll be interested to see what kids around the world make of it.