Worthington News

Blaze wins Best of Show in Minecraft competition

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A team called Blaze won "Best of Show" at the Minecraft competition Aug. 9 at the McConnell Arts Center. Team members are (from left) Collin Balser, Alex Scholl, Max Weatherby and Griffin Koehn.CANDY BROOKS/THISWEEKNEWS

A detailed design of the Ohio Statehouse won Best of Show at the Minecraft competition Aug. 9 at Worthington's McConnell Arts Center.

The winning design was created by Blaze, a team of four boys: Collin Balser, a fourth-grader at Olentangy's Cheshire Elementary School; Griffin Koehn, a fourth-grader at Bluffsview Elementary School in Worthington; Alex Scholl, a Cheshire fourth-grader; and Max Weatherby, a fourth-grader at Columbus' Indian Springs Elementary School.

They were among 74 youngsters who took part in the competition that allowed them to use their skills at the popular computer game to replicate a central Ohio building.

The morning began with a presentation about famous architects Howard Dwight Smith, Frank Packard and Nathan Kelley.

Teams then chose one of the buildings the architects had designed and set out to create a replica.

Several teams chose the Statehouse, but others chose lesser-known buildings like the Ohio Asylum, the Columbus Club and Jones Middle School.

Teams were given two hours to work on their entries. Each entrant worked on his or her own part of the design, and then members combined the elements to create a whole presentation.

"It's a really interesting collaborative effort," said Kendra Roberts, program director at the MAC.

A team captain then presented the work to judges.

Trophies for best exterior went to Monster Eggs; for best exterior, Ender Chess; and original design, Redstone.

Team names were taken from Minecraft, a game that is popular with children of all ages. To take part in Saturday's event, children had to be in grades 3-8.

"It went well; the kids had a good time," said Dave Gilley, who runs Kids Creative Studio, which helped organize the event.

This was the second Minecraft competition at the MAC. The first was in March. A third is planned for January.

Both the Kids Creative Studio and the MAC offer classes based on Minecraft, which, Gilley said, is much more than a game.

"If we can use Minecraft to teach them something, we've met our goal," he said.