FAQ

Why Minecraft?

Minecraft is more than a game—it’s a cultural phenomenon that is as widely recognized on the streets of Hanoi as in Houston. It’s also a design platform that’s so easy to use it has transformed into a powerful form of communication. Read more about our unique methodology here.

Do people have to know how to play Minecraft, or how to use computers, to participate?

Our Block by Block Workshops include training on both Minecraft and computer use—we generally find that anyone can pick up the necessary skills in a day or less. Block by Block is sometimes people’s first exposure to technology, and the process is often very empowering. Through Block by Block Workshops we have helped fisherman who had never touched a computer design their own waterfront park in Haiti, street kids in Addis Ababa find their voice, and children of migrant workers in Anaheim envision a career in technology for the first time.

How are projects selected?

Communities submit applications to UN-Habitat, who does an initial prioritization based on need and project viability. Our Project Selection Committee then determines which projects receive Block by Block funding based on detailed criteria addressing sustainability, policy impact, and empowering unrepresented groups including women, children, refugees, and the elderly. Read more about our project selection process here.

We also make our Block by Block Methodology freely available to all here.

Where does the funding come from?

Our founding partners, Mojang and Microsoft, provide ongoing financial support annually, but the need far exceeds the available resources. Find out more about how you can help here.

Who builds and maintains the projects?

Our founding partner UN-Habitat works with local partners to oversee the implementation of funded projects. In many cases the community members participate in the project construction, and as a result of the process feel a much stronger sense of community ownership that results in long-term maintenance of the spaces.

Where did the Block by Block logo come from?

The Block by Block logo was originally designed by the Mojang team, using three blocks to represent Minecraft, in the shape of a heart to symbolize the mission to improve quality of life worldwide. The colors are derived from UN-Habitat blue to communicate our strong partnership. (For the record, the YouTube gaming logo with a similar design came later.)

I want to do this in my community! What do I do?

We make our Block by Block Methodology freely available to all here. Also, please feel free to get in touch with questions.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways to help! Visit our Get Involved page for ideas.  

Can you participate or speak at our event?

We love to spread the word about Block by Block. Get in touch, and we’ll see what we can do.

Have a question we didn’t answer?

Let us know here!