Ministry launches website to help children avoid lockdown madness

The digital affairs ministry is launching a website for children to help them cope with the lockdown. Sven Simon/PAP/DPA

With the coronavirus putting an end to children being told to leave their computers alone and go outside, the Polish government has started to encourage kids to spend their free time on online.

The Ministry of Digital Affairs, together with several foundations and game developers, is launching Grarantanna – a website with access to a Minecraft server, online role-playing-game (RPG) sessions, quizzes, a series of webinars on game development and Game Jam Online. All this to keep youngsters cooped up at home occupied and learning at the same time.

The aim of the website is to entertain and educate.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

While children are reminded quarantine isn’t a vacation and are fully expected to complete their schoolwork, the initiators of Grarantanna understand that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So along with remote lessons, school children have another resource to play with.

“It is a series of various types of internet activities,” the ministry announced. “To make it easier, you will find them in one place - at Every day, we will publish more challenges there, thanks to which time at home will pass quickly and actively.”

Children can play a number of games including Minecraft.Fundacja Teatrikon/Facebook

As part of the project, children are invited to take part in a competition for the best construction in Minecraft, using an especially dedicated server. The game, which has 112 million active players all over the world, allows the player to build any structure they can imagine using blocks of different materials available in the virtual world. Using just their creativity, children can construct anything, from a spaceship to the Statue of Liberty.

Another activity is a series of webinars on game development organized by Lublin GameDev development. After six days of workshops and lectures, the participants will be invited to compete in the Game Jam Online - a contest in computer game creation.

Not all fun and games. The website also has quizzes to keep children on their

Some activate are, however, school-related. History quizzes, logic, mathematics and language puzzles will tests the players' observation skills, focus, patience, and diligence. Despite this Grarantanna’s organisers stress that it’s not a trick to smuggle more classes into the children’s spare time. “Relax, you don't have to be a walking encyclopaedia to win. Just use your head and be perceptive! It's not a test. This is fun,” they claim.

The highest scorers in all activities can expect rewards – board games, a camera, a smartphone, and even a gaming laptop.