This week saw the unveiling of “Dallas Mavericks World,” a partnership with the mega-popular Minecraft server Mineplex that will see the NBA team construct a block-ified scale model of its home American Airlines Center arena.
Minecraft, the smash-hit building game that Microsoft acquired for $2.5 billion in 2014, was a natural home for the Mavericks, team owner and “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban tells Business Insider.
“It’s so intellectually engaging and creatively rewarding for any age,” says Cuban. “You can play it for minutes or hours.”
Cuban says that he only plays Minecraft “just enough to be conversant with my kids,” and that his youngest child Jake is an big fan of the game.
Millions of children worldwide feel the same way, with Minecraft a veritable phenomenon in the younger generations. Plus, Cuban highlights Minecraft as an easy way for kids to learn the fundamentals of computer science, while still having all the fun of building and engineering their worlds.
That’s what makes Minecraft so appealing for the Mavericks, says Cuban.
“We want to give kids a safe world that parents can trust that also helps us connect to kids and help them learn about the Mavs and become fans,” Cuban says.
For its part, Mineplex is an online destination for the Minecraft faithful, where hundreds or thousands of players gather to cooperatively build or play competitive “minigames” against each other. It’s supported by premium memberships, which start at $10 for the lifetime of a Minecraft account.
The star resident of Mineplex is millionaire YouTube sensation “CaptainSparklez,” who films his popular Minecraft videos on the server. His arrival on Mineplex vaulted the server, already popular, to a population boom.
In Dallas Mavericks World, visitors to Mineplex will be able to compete in basketball mini-games, as well as participate in building contests. It’s officially launching later this summer.
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