Mobile phone gamers can explore Scots poet’s farm in Minecraft game

22 January 2024, 08:54

Ellisland farm minecraft
Ellisland farm minecraft. Picture: PA

The mobile edition of Explore Ellisland! follows a PC version, released in 2022.

A video game version of the farm where Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne has been launched for mobile phones.

The Minecraft version of Explore Ellisland! created by students and academics at the University of Glasgow allows users to explore the 18th century farm and interact with Burns and his family.

An educational version of the game will also be released in schools on January 25 – the date of the bard’s birthday.

The game recreates the 1788 farm, which still stands on the banks of the River Nith in Dumfries.

A group from the University of Glasgow worked on the Minecraft Ellisland farm project (University of Glasgow/PA)

Gamers can hear an exclusive recorded version of Auld Lang Syne by singer Emily Smith and listen to Tam o’ Shanter, which was also written at the farm.

The project is a partnership between the university, Robert Burns Ellisland Trust which runs Ellisland Museum and Farm, and the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA), while the connection with the university’s Games and Gaming Lab was made by Interface Online.

The project was funded by the Scottish Government’s Tourism Leadership and Recovery Fund to support business and community-led tourism enterprises.

The mobile edition of the game follows a PC edition, which was released in 2022.

Bailey Hodgson, the Minecraft Society’s president and one of its founders, who has played the game for a decade, said: “These new versions will make the game more accessible to many more people ahead of Burns night.

“We were delighted with the success of the PC game and have had so many expressions of interest – it even features in some university courses.”

Dr Timothy Peacock, the lab director and a lecturer in history, based at the university’s School of Humanities, said: “The success of Minecraft Ellisland has led to our being approached about similar projects.

“We are delighted with the interest in it, and in the opportunities provided to find new collaborative ways of exploring heritage through research-led gaming.”

Joan McAlpine, the project director of the Robert Burns Ellisland Trust, added: “Our visitor numbers increased last year and the publicity surrounding the Minecraft Ellisland game definitely helped.

“The game is a very rich experience, using Scots language and several of Burns’s poems.

“It reaches out to a different generation and modernises the understanding of Burns and the time he lived.

“The mobile and education version of the game will help us reach many more young people.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

National Cyber Security Centre launch

National Cyber Security Centre names Richard Horne as new chief executive

The lights on the front panel of a broadband internet router, London.

Virgin Media remains most complained about broadband and landline provider

A person using a laptop

£14,000 being lost to investment scams on average, says Barclays

Europe Digital Rules

Meta unveils latest AI model as chatbot competition intensifies

AI technology

Younger children increasingly online and unsupervised, Ofcom says

Migrant Channel crossing incidents

Ministers will be told to use AI to screen migrants for threats, adviser says

Nothing smartphone

UK tech firm Nothing to integrate ChatGPT into its devices

The Google offices in Six Pancras Square, London

Google confirms more job cuts as part of company reorganisation

Person using laptop

Housing association reprimanded after residents’ data compromised

A screengrab of an arrest in connection with the LabHost website

Arrests made and thousands of victims contacted after scammer site taken offline

Social media apps on a smartphone

Three-quarters of public fear misinformation will affect UK elections – report

Businessman racing with a robot

TUC calls for AI to be regulated in the workplace

The ChatGPT website

AI chatbot ‘could be better at assessing eye problems than medics’

FastRig wingsail launch

Scottish-made wingsail set for sea tests after launch on land


Rollout of eVisas begins as Government aims for digital immigration by 2025

Elon Musk in 2024

X may start charging new users to post, says Elon Musk