Minecon, Mojang's first conference for Minecraft fans, was a big success. I was amazed that 5,000 people (the con sold out) from 20+ countries made the trip to Las Vegas to spend two days immersed in their favorite game. Our three sons love Minecraft and, even though they'd visited Mojang in Sweden this summer, they were very eager to attend Minecon.
I could go on about the many things we liked: The people we met, the costumes, the sculptures, some of the talks, how friendly the Mojang folks were. By now you've probably already read many reviews describing what a hit it was (like this one).
Instead, here's what our family thinks Mojang needs to improve for next year:
- Better Breakouts: My #1 issue. Some were great, but many consisted of people with no presentations and little to say.
- Gaming Opportunities: Set up servers so people can game together. I have a vision of large round tables, each with a server and a volunteer moderator. Some tables could have goals (building, exploring, etc.). Sit down, plug in, make friends, and play!
- Minecraft Clinics: Many of us are comfortable installing mods and hacking Minecraft but even more people (often bewildered parents) aren't. Set up volunteer run "Crafting Bars" (like Apple's Genius Bars) to teach people the basics of modding, customizing your skin, using a texture pack, etc.
- Minecraft Videos: Set one large room aside for watching Minecraft videos. Find the highest rated on Youtube, put them back to back, project on a large screen with good sound system, provide chairs for people to sit down, relax, and enjoy.
- Parents of a Feather. I loved seeing how many parents had brought their kids to Minecon. An opportunity for them to meet and engage on topics such as education, gaming with your kids, etc. would have been great.
- In general, more opportunities for kids to get together. Whether through gaming, presenting to each other, or kids-only hangouts...
- Oh yes... While it made perfect sense this time, in future please don't release a new version of minecraft at the conference. Give mod writers time to adapt their mods prior to the con.
None of this detracts from the great time we had at Minecon. Our sons all want to come back next year and were unanimous on one piece of feedback: "Make it three days!" :-)