My son compares Redstone in Minecraft to Electricity in the “Real World”. He explains, that this wire like application has endless possibilities when it comes to creating or building machines.
I spent some time working with him on Minecraft and noticed his use of patterns when using this application in Minecraft. As he mastered a particular concept (electrical source, flow, breaker), he then copied it over and over to create and customize simple machines. What I was most intrigued with, was not his knowledge of electrical currents or how circuit paths function, but was his ability to think through a problem, add further dimension to the problem and use the knowledge to construct further creations and so on. Here is an (unedited) video of Nathan explaining how he is learning to use this application.
If what I seek in my classroom is for my students to use their own creative thinking to create and solve problems that are authentic (to them), I wonder how this application might challenge them. One thing is for certain, since this game offers a blank sandbox, the possibilities are endless.