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Blockworks / Museum of London

Museum recreates the Great Fire of London in Minecraft

The virtual conflagration will let Minecraft players explore the historic conflagration that consumed vast swathes of the capital city in 1666.

London's burning! Or at least it will be, in Minecraft form.

The Museum of London is crafting the Great Fire of London in Microsoft's block-based game, bolting together an explorable model of the famous conflagration that's designed to educate players.

Three Minecraft maps will be published, with the first due for download from the museum's website on 29 July. That map, playable on PC and Mac, promises explorable landmarks including London Bridge and the old St. Paul's Cathedral, plus a treasure hunt for audio extracts that will reveal how the famous fire spread.

The second map is coming in September, around the 350th anniversary of the blaze itself, which started at a bakery on London's Pudding Lane before rapidly spreading throughout the capital and -- over four days -- consuming the homes of an estimated 70,000 residents. That second map will feature fire-fighting mini-games. A third map is scheduled for February 2017.

Several Minecraft heavyweights have collaborated on the project, including YouTubers Adam "Wizard Keen" Clarke and Johan Kruger, aka Dragnoz. The perennially popular Minecraft has been repeatedly deployed for educational purposes: Don't miss CNET's special report on how the brick-breaking phenomenon is being used to teach kids subjects including programming, languages and history.