The popular video game Minecraft comes to life for the second annual Pixelmania tournament at the Connecticut Science Center on Aug. 12 and 13.
The event features themed galleries with games and crafts for families and kids of all ages as well as a competitive Minecraft tournament open to ages 7 through 14.
The tournament has three rounds each day, focused on creative building, parkour through an obstacle course on the game, and a player versus player race called King of the Hill. The top prize for the tournament is worth more than $350 and includes a trophy, but every participant is a winner, says Tracy Shirer, the director of marketing and public relations for the Connecticut Science Center.
Second place is a $100 prize pack and a trophy; third place is a $50 prize pack an a trophy; and there are 30 finalist and 90 semifinalist prizes.
“We structure it so that there are a lot of opportunities for success,” she says. “Everyone gets a bag full of swag, medals and great memories, whether you only make it to level one or if you go all the way to the finals.”
Each day of tournament play is independent, with three rounds of play occurring between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
When putting together the events, Shirer tries to use a creative interpretation of the game, such as having a petting zoo with all of the animals seen in the game.
“They’re playing video games but it’s really about bringing people together and bringing the game to life,” she says.
The science center decided to focus on the game Minecraft because of its educational value, Shirer says. Because it allows players to create structures out of cube-shaped supplies and has options for coding, the game can spark an interest in fields like computer science or architecture.
“People are using it in the classroom,” she says. “We’re bringing something fun and popular to the science center and exposing kids to more STEM, which is in line with our…