Minecraft fans gather for Minecon show

Minecon, the global gathering for fans of the video game Minecraft, takes place in London this weekend.

The convention will see 10,000 people get together in Docklands to celebrate all aspects of the hugely popular block-building game.

It will feature talks by the game’s developers, a costume competition and sessions on modifying the basic game.

Well-known YouTube stars including Stampy, The Diamond Minecart and Captain Sparklez are also attending.

The convention comes as Microsoft announces an initiative to make more use of Minecraft in schools.

‘Listen and learn’

The core coding team for Minecraft is set to appear at the show to talk about future features on which they are working. Also present will be Telltale Games which is working on Minecraft: Story Mode – an episodic adventure set in the game’s universe.

Prominent at the show will be the coders who modify the game who will share hints about the best way to customise the way it is played. A large panel of well-known YouTubers is also scheduled to appear to give tips about growing and serving the audience for Minecraft “lets play” videos.

The convention will also feature a “speedrun” competition to see which players can traverse a Minecraft game map the fastest. About 70 million copies of the game have been sold since it was launched in 2011.

Microsoft is giving away “golden tickets” to some attendees so they can try out the version of Minecraft being made for its Hololens augmented reality headset.

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Earlier this week Microsoft also announced the creation of a Minecraft in Education initiative that will see the game become a route through which children are taught subjects including maths, history and religion.

It is also introducing tools that help schools co-ordinate what is done through the game to make collaboration easier.

This year’s convention is the first since Microsoft bought Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5bn (£1.6bn) in September 2014.

Despite now being the parent company for Mojang, Microsoft had no plans to change the way the game is made and run, said Matt Booty, general manager for the Minecraft team at Microsoft.

“This is definitely Mojang’s show and it’s about Minecraft and the fans,” he said. “We are here to listen and learn and be inspired by the fans.”

Tickets for the event went on sale in March and sold out within hours of being available. Minecon is being held at London’s Excel exhibition and convention centre in Docklands.