I get that.
What I don't get is why that requires Minecraft. It seems counter-productive due to complexity. A good fraction of people don't have very good 3d imagination and would finding a top-down 2d world much easier to comprehend.
Normally I would agree with that statement. In the past I tried 2D systems such as GameMaker and other block-like languages. I tried Alice the past two years which ventured into 3D. The difference with Minecraft is the kids already know it. I took a poll of the kids on the first day of class and only 2 out of 60 had never played Minecraft. That helps quite a bit with the learning curve so we can just focus on the logic. Their final grades were also much better this year and attribute a lot of that to the engagement Minecraft provided.
They could have legislated minimum efficiencies but NO
They DID legislate based on efficiency. The law states that future incandescents can come to market if they are more energy efficient. Wikipedia
Pair programming is how you engage in affirmative action without having to spell it out in school policy. You pair up the students who can't/won't succeed with the students who can and will succeed. The successful student will do all the work to keep up their GPA and the shit student can coast his/her way to a passing grade. All while avoiding the political minefield that would come with forcing more girls, more people of color, or more of whatever group is the cause de jour into programming through social promotion and affirmative action.
That's pretty cynical. I use pair programming in my classes, but the kids can choose their pairs. It's not meant to give kids better grades. In fact, I usually only use it for tasks I won't be grading. It's meant so the kids can work with someone else and bounce ideas off each other to see a different perspective and hopefully gain a better understanding of CS. The kids have to take turns on the keyboard so even if one kid is a much better programmer, they are forced to talk about what to do instead of just typing all the code themselves in silence.
10 to the minus 6th power mouthwashes = 1 Microscope