Teaching Technology

Using ‘Minecraft’ to model ancient religious sites

Room: W2.4A 2.300 Active Learning Space

By: Dr Brian Ballsun-Stanton

This interactive demonstration will demonstrate some of the material of the Minecraft Archaeology project, demonstrating how ancient sites may be researched, built, participated in, and destroyed in minecraft. Minecraft as a ludic device (toy) which can encourage and motivate independent research in sites of interest is an excellent tool to allow the understanding of the social patterns, organisation, and broad architectural features of ancient cultures and significant sites.

This technology demo will show the current research project and will then instruct teachers how to install, deploy, and participate in modded minecraft. This participation may either use the current resaerch or form the basis of motivated inhabitation and reconstruction of other ancient sites.


How to deploy this modded minecraft using a launcher:

  • Register and buy minecraft, but do not download
  • Download the curse client
    • There are many modpack managers. Because the mods I’ve chosen are all hosed on the “curseforge” network and are all open source (or at least free and unlimited public use when used with this lanucher), I’ve chosen to make these instructions for this launcher. They’re certainly not necessary, but the manual technique is out of scope for this guide.
  • Run the curse client.
  • Register as a user on curse. (Remember, don’t reuse passwords. A password manager like lastpass can help improve your computer security. Two factor authentication can also dramatically increase your personal security. Password reuse is how automated bots can compromise one system and end up sending out spam (or fake messages to friends and family for funds) in your name.)
  • After logging in, uncheck “automatically start curse when I start windows”
  • Click the “gear” icon, choose the minecraft menu option, and check “mod maangement”. Then restart the curse client.
  • Download the Archaeological Pedagogy modpack.
  • In the restarted client, choose minecraft. Click “Create custom profile”
  • Click the “import” link under the create profile header.
  • Choose the ArchaeologicalPedagogy Zip.
  • Click Play.
  • Authenticate to the minecraft launcher using the e-mail and password you used to register on minecraft.net
  • Click Play
  • Wait a while
  • Click single player
  • You’ll see the central anatolean neolithic creative test world.
  • Click it, then click play selected world.
  • Hit escape to go to the “menu”, then maximise your window.
  • When game launches
  • Push e, for “equipment inventory”
  • Click options.
  • click “nei.options.jei”
  • Click “nei.options.jei.searchBoxOwner.0” (so that it turns into “nei.options.jei.searchBoxOwner.1”)

Mod List:

Dr Brian Ballsun-Stanton

Brian Ballsun-Stanton (Ph.D. University of New South Wales, 2012) is currently a Research Associate at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His research interests include exploring how people interact with and understand the nature of data and an investigation into the mechanics of ludic-narrative interactions in games. He is the Technical Director and Data Architect for the Field Acquired Information Management Systems (FAIMS) Project.