The Pilot for Games for Peace’s Minecraft Talk program¬† has started this morning.

Minecraft Talk uses the game Minecraft to promoted dialogue between schoolchildren in two schools, one Arab and the other Jewish, in Israel. The program comprises of a series of virtual meetings, in which two classes, each from its own school computer room, logs in simultaneously to a shared game world. The players are divided into mixed teams and encouraged to work together in order to overcome all kinds of challenges in the game. Automatic translation is used in the chat system to overcome the language barrier.

Only after they’ve played and had adventures together in the game world do the kids meet each other face to face to meet the people behind the avatars.

This morning was the first of six virtual encounters, which focused on getting to know Minecraft. The program will continue throughout February and March. We’ll keep you posted on how things go!