Poland launches Minecraft server for children during coronavirus lockdown

The website, Grarantanna.pl, is filled with countless online activities intended to discourage young Polish citizens from venturing outdoors

Child plays video game Minecraft at the Minecon convention in London (photo credit: REUTERS)
Child plays video game Minecraft at the Minecon convention in London
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The government of Poland has launched a website dedicated entirely to keeping children busy while they are stuck indoors during their time off from school, as school closures and coronavirus lockdowns set in and increase worldwide.
The website, Grarantanna.pl,  is filled with countless online activities intended to discourage young Polish citizens from venturing outdoors - including online gaming options, riddles and quizzes, as well as educational materials for home schooling and more.
"Free from school and unplanned stay at home do not have to be boring. First of all - it's worth using this time for... learning. And here we recommend our website www.gov.pl/zdalnelcje. Yes, yes - this is not a holiday or a vacation," the website reads. "Secondly, once you study, we invite you to GRARANTANNA! Every day you will find here various activities suggestions, thanks to which time at home will pass quickly and actively. What have we prepared for you? Online role-playing game sessions, logic puzzles, webinars, streaming, tournaments and competitions related to games and the creative use of the internet."
Instead of listing a bunch of third-party links to these games and activities, the Ministry of Digitization went so far as to set up exclusive servers, tournaments and original games committed to keeping children at home during the public health crisis.
The Polish government even set up a few dedicated Minecraft servers which are a bit like a virtual Lego set, placing users in a limitless world where some can simply choose to build while others can choose to fight monsters – or each other. While Poland set up its own Minecraft server in order to promote community game play, the game currently has over 250 million registered users across all computers, gaming systems and mobile apps, encouraging worldwide community play.
Poland cannot rule out imposing further constraints on citizens to prevent the spread of coronavirus, government spokesman Piotr Muller said on Monday.
The central European country had canceled classes for students earlier this month until March 25 and shut its borders to foreigners in an effort to curtail the spread of the virus.
It also shuttered museums, theaters and cinemas and limited public gatherings to no more than 50 people.
"The government is considering various options regarding the epidemic situation, including launching other limitations than the current ones," Muller told public radio without providing details.
Poland currently has 634 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 7 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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