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Microsoft is bringing free educational content to Minecraft to help families who've been forced to home school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has added a new Education category to the Minecraft Marketplace that will let parents and children explore the International Space Station, learn to code with a robot, visit famous Washington D.C. landmarks, build 3D fractals, and more.
The initiative ultimately aims to balance "distance learning with taking time to have fun," and will be available from now until June 30, 2020.
"We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of people around the world and changed the way we go about our daily lives," said Xbox chief Phil Spencer.
Here at Microsoft, we’re constantly asking ourselves what we can do to support people during this challenging time. To me, the most important thing to remember is that we’re all living and learning through this together."
Spencer also highlighted the raft of family settings available to parents who might want to keep tabs on screen time or implement content filters, and reiterated that Microsoft is working hard to ensure its service can cope with the increased demand presented by self-isolation.
"We understand the important role gaming is playing right now to connect people and provide joy in these isolating and stressful times, and our teams are working diligently to ensure we can be there for our players," he added.
"To that end, we are actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand."