What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Minecraft is an open-ended, exploration and creation focused environment. One of the best-selling, independently developed and published video games, Minecraft's official release was in November 2011 following a lengthy beta test phase that attracted millions of players. Players can create items and buildings from scratch using materials they harvest from the world around them. There is no story, but players will encounter aggressive monsters they can fight using swords and bows. Graphics are extremely blocky, and there is no blood or gore, but the creatures can be a bit scary when they moan or appear seemingly out of nowhere. Parents should note that this game has a thriving online community hosted by private, non-moderated servers. This means players could encounter offensive content in the form of profane text messages and suggestively shaped player-created structures, although players don't have to engage in online activity to enjoy the game.
What kids can learn
- rocks and minerals
Thinking & Reasoning
- defining problems
- problem solving
- making new creations
- producing new content
- group projects
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids have free reign over one-of-a-kind worlds bolstered by deep customization options and frequent updates that add new challenges and content.
Design thinking, problem solving, and resilience will stay with kids, but specific content-knowledge transfer is dependent on how classes use the game.
Lacking a built-in tutorial or manual, Minecraft can be intimidating, but this also promotes peer learning both among kids and the larger online community.
What's it about?
Minecraft begins with players looking out over a massive, randomly generated world filled with hills, lakes, trees, animals, small non-player character villages, and geological features. There are no objectives, but there is an "End" zone featuring a dragon. At first, the player's only concern is to survive. Monsters are a hazard, which means a shelter -- built with resources harvested from the ground and trees -- is the first order of business. Once a shelter is established, players can focus on experimenting with the resources they gather, using them to build axes, picks, hoes, swords, armor, furnaces, bricks, glass, carts, boats, and countless other items, which can then be leveraged to create everything from forts to lighthouses to ornate palaces. Privately hosted online servers allow access to other worlds, where players can interact with one another.
Is it any good?
It’s easy to see why Minecraft has ballooned in popularity. The experience is wholly compelling for those with a creative itch. Mining resources from the earth and turning them into easily usable materials employed in the construction of nearly anything the player can imagine is enormously satisfying.
However, getting started can prove tricky. There are no instructions. Part of the fun comes from discovery and experimentation, but less patient players could lose interest before they find out how much fun it can be to build a dream house or an intricate maze of mining shafts and tunnels. We recommend consulting online guides designed to help beginners, such as those at minecraftwiki.net. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be hard pressed to leave your computer without placing just one more block.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about creativity. How do you like to express yourself outside of video games? Do you think games can help you develop your artistic ability?
Families can also discuss common sense safety measures for online games. How can you identify an online predator? What steps should you take if you encounter someone suspicious?