Gaming juggernaut Mojang, best known for its Minecraft platform, will acquire social network LinkedIn, technology outlets reported today.
The acquisition was undertaken by Microsoft, an umbrella holding company that is largely unknown to most Minecraft users.
The acquisition heralds a new era of intergenerational online conversation, which in recent years has been stymied by the inability of anybody over 25 to master the preferred communications medium of under 25s, “Snapchat”. Today’s acquisition marks the first ray of hope that older people, who often think LinkedIn counts as a real social network, will be able to once again communicate with their children.
While it is too early to determine the full set of implications of this important merger, astute observers anticipate the following:
- LinkedIn will offer a more consistent user experience by adopting Minecraft nomenclature. Henceforth, connections will be referred to as “mining”, salespeople who send more than 200 messages a day will be known as “creepers”, and LinkedIn groups will be known as “The Nether”.
- Minecraft will extend its current teleport command with a TPC option, which simultaneous teleports to another player’s location and connects to that player on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn will now be available in two modes: Creative, for people with secure jobs, and Survival, for job hunters and the self-employed.
- Minecraft will launch a new series of LinkedIn-themed crafting recipes. For example, combining three blocks of coal with one diamond will automatically add a wealthy energy executive to your LinkedIn network.
- LinkedIn’s profile fields will now include not only “Projects”, Publications” and “Education,” but also a section for “Builds”, allowing members to showcase their Minecraft accomplishments.
- Minecraft will launch a new server to host virtual employment fairs for LinkedIn members who subscribe to the company’s Job Seekers or Talent Solutions packages. A new add-on for LinkedIn Sales Solutions subscribers will help salespeople target prospects based on their preferred in-game activities.
- LinkedIn users will be prompted to congratulate children and friends who are marking the anniversary of their membership on a specific Minecraft server, just as they are currently prompted to congratulate people on a work anniversary.
- Minecraft users will be prompted to endorse one another’s building, TNT and combat skills.
- LinkedIn users who are baffled by connection requests from people they don’t know will now be able to challenge their would-be connectors to survival-mode Minecraft competitions, with the results of each competition determining whether the connection request may be accepted or rejected.
- Minecraft users will have a one-button export option, allowing them to convert the stages of a build to SlideShare.
- LinkedIn subsidiary Lynda.com will be repositioned as the hub for all Minecraft-related training, walkthrough and let’s play videos, as well as housing parent-oriented trainings on topics such as “How to keep Minecraft play to 12 hours per day” and “Should you connect to your kid’s Minecraft server admin on LinkedIn?”
As the business benefits of these integrations take hold, expect to see other similar mergers in the near future. Analysts are already predicting a Facebook/League of Legends merger, allowing Facebook groups to set up strategic perimeter defences (particularly during election season). Such a merger would doubtless trigger Angry Birds’ acquisition of Twitter, centralizing all of the Internet’s hostile tweeters on single platform.
Whether these mergers succeed in bridging the intergenerational communications gap remains an open question, however. In the long run, Minecraft’s LinkedIn acquisition will allow a seamless transition from elementary school cooperation to workplace collaboration. Meanwhile, maybe the folks down the hall at Microsoft Outlook will find a way to use LinkedIn to make your address book work properly.