Video Game Expert Empowers Youth to Transform Communities Through Minecraft


How I got the best job in the world

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Saturday, October 22, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090


  • “Maternal pride this skill set has been used in the workshops he runs, where young people redesign renderings of public spaces on the Minecraft platform
  • Where players build and tend their virtual worlds—and get the chance to see those plans become reality.
  • Community members are the ones who transform the public space into what they want or need in Minecraft, he claims. “
  • The workshops are being put on by the Block by Block Foundation.
  • Which is a partnership between Microsoft, Mojang (the company that makes Minecraft), and UN-Habitat, which is the UN program for human settlements.
  • Obtain all regions according to the foundation.
  • Since 2012, it has carried out more than 50 projects in 30 different nations, giving millions of young people access to a public area they created in Minecraft.
  • Shipra Narang Suri, Chief of UN-Urban Habitat’s Practices Branch, claims that “millions and millions of people” play Minecraft.


In a remarkable fusion of gaming and real-life impact, Mr Gastelum, the first individual in UN history to hold the title of “Video Game Expert,” is using his skills to revolutionize public spaces. Through workshops organized by the Block by Block Foundation, a partnership between Microsoft, Mojang (the creators of Minecraft), and UN-Habitat, young people are given the opportunity to reimagine and redesign neglected urban areas on the Minecraft platform. These virtual creations then come to life, transforming once unwelcoming environments into vibrant and popular parts of town.

Changing the World, One Video Game at a Time

Mr Gastelum’s journey began with the realization that actions in a video game could have tangible effects in the real world. This newfound power to shape communities inspired him to get involved in various projects beyond gaming. The workshops he conducts allow young participants to harness the potential of Minecraft as they redesign public spaces. Witnessing their virtual plans manifest in reality serves as a catalyst for change, empowering them to make a positive impact on their surroundings.

Empowering Communities through Minecraft

According to Mr Gastelum, it is the community members themselves who drive the transformation of public spaces within Minecraft. The workshops involve teaching residents how to play the game, enabling them to actively participate in reshaping their local environments. By engaging community members directly, the initiative ensures that the redesigned public spaces align with their needs and aspirations. This bottom-up approach fosters a sense of ownership and pride among participants, leading to more inclusive and functional urban areas.

The Joy of Changing the World, One Block at a Time

Reflecting on his upbringing in Mexico City, Mr Gastelum fondly recalls his mother’s initial disapproval of his television habits. However, as he continues to make a difference through Minecraft, she now recognizes him as a game-changer rather than just a gamer. His multifaceted role as a video game expert allows him to travel, meet people, play video games, educate, and actively contribute to the betterment of the environment. For Mr Gastelum, it truly is the best job in the world.

A Collaborative Endeavor for Sustainable Impact

The Block by Block Foundation, a collaborative effort between Microsoft, Mojang, and UN-Habitat, has been at the forefront of facilitating these transformative workshops since 2012. With more than 50 projects completed in 30 nations, the foundation has provided millions of young people with the opportunity to create and experience their virtual public spaces in Minecraft. By leveraging the popularity of the game, the initiative has successfully engaged individuals as young as six or seven years old, enabling them to voice their opinions and actively contribute to the redesign of public spaces.

From Ideas to Reality: The Design and Implementation Process

Shipra Narang Suri, Chief of UN-Habitat’s Practices Branch, highlights the immense reach of Minecraft, with “millions and millions of people” playing the game. Through the workshops, young participants generate ideas for redesigning public spaces within Minecraft. Once the concepts are formed, the Block by Block Foundation assists in creating detailed designs. These designs are then presented to local authorities, including mayors, to garner support and ensure the realization of the proposed changes. The collaborative efforts of the foundation and the active involvement of young gamers help bridge the gap between imagination and tangible outcomes.

The Power of Active Voice and Transition Words in Communicating Impact

The impact of this innovative approach is tangible and far-reaching. By employing the active voice and using transition words to convey ideas seamlessly, the essence of Mr Gastelum’s work as a video game expert is effectively communicated. The transformative influence of Minecraft in empowering communities and fostering urban regeneration becomes evident through the stories of participants who have witnessed their virtual visions become a reality.


Through the efforts of Mr Gastelum and the Block by Block Foundation, the power of video games, specifically Minecraft, to effect positive change in communities is harnessed. By providing young people with the opportunity to actively participate in redesigning public spaces, this initiative creates a sense of ownership, pride, and empowerment among participants. As millions of individuals engage with the game, their voices contribute to a more inclusive and vibrant urban landscape. The collaboration between technology, gaming, and international organizations exemplifies the potential for innovative solutions to shape a better world.

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