Tech giant Microsoft wants to encourage more children to develop an interest in coding. It's pitch? Try an hour-long online coding tutorial developed by the team behind the popular game Minecraft.
The free online tutorial, called Minecraft Designer, allows a user to program their own Minecraft game in a visual drag-and-drop workspace, where they learn basic concepts such as debugging and repeat loops.
After launching the tutorial, users navigate through a series of tasks - the first couple of tasks make chickens move around a Minecraft map. Users arrange a sequence of commands to make the chickens turn, move forward, drop items and even cluck and then test out their "code."
"The tutorial is a game that children play to learn the principles of computational thinking," Daiana Beitler, Philanthropies lead for Asia at Microsoft, told CNBC by phone.
There are no actual lines of code on the workspace and it does not promote any specific programming language, rather there are "visual illustration of codes so it's easier to understand," according to Beitler.
Microsoft acquired the Swedish company Mojang, the creators of Minecraft, in 2014.
The Minecraft tutorials is one of more than 170 offerings as part of an annual, international movement called Hour of Code, which was started in 2013 by an U.S. non-profit organization Code.org to make coding more accessible to the masses.