Is my Minecraft-obsessed kid learning anything while he plays?

An open-ended building game with seemingly endless possibilities, Minecraft can be mighty engrossing. On the plus side, Minecraft can reinforce geometry concepts as it strengthens players' thinking and reasoning skills, creativity, and even collaboration. The game has a strong, positive online community and even has an educational module teachers can modify for classroom lessons on different subjects. On the downside, as you've discovered, it's a time suck.

Even "good" games can be played to excess, and homework, chores, family obligations, and real-world social activities can take a backseat when kids can't -- or won't -- stop playing. And even if your kid is learning from the game, other areas of life are important, too.

Help your kids self-regulate. Start by having a conversation about all their daily duties and figure out how much game time fits in. Create a calendar, have them set a timer, and reward them for sticking to the time limits. If you've tried this and want more control over their screen time, consider installing a parental-control program that lets you set daily screen limits for different programs.

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Kid, 12 years old

There is proven to be some positive impact like brain stimulation also it can give them a sense of direction. But limit their time to about 30 minutes to an hour
Parent written by kate j.

Minecraft is fun and educational , and it is my favorite offline game. I also like Roblox, which is more fun and has more variety, but may be inappropriate since Roblox users make the games. If your kid likes Minecraft, they would also like Roblox, and it is proven that in Roblox once they play a lot, kids would try to get creative enough to make their own game on Roblox using script. Video Games like these would be perfect... but sadly some people ruin it by bullying, dating, and hacking.
Teen, 15 years old written by Teengirl

Mine craft has no learning involved and has lots of violence including swords, knifes and guns.
Teen, 13 years old written by goaliepowers

Totally not true that minecraft has no learning and there are NO GUNS unless you download a mod (basically an add-on to the game) which adds guns.
Parent written by kate j.

Minecraft sharpens survival instincts. If you get stranded in a jungle, you would probably follow your minecraft-trained gut. And btw there aren't any guns in minecraft unless you want to use java to program them yourself.
Adult written by Evan F.

I was having a hard time reading before I got Minecraft and I also sucked at math but as I played on servers I quickly became a much better reader and speller I also could not hold a conversation with anybody for long it was to hard but I learned through Minecraft so yes you can learn lots from it but some servers are better then others find servers on planetminecraft.com that say no swearing on the server rules page and then tell your son he can play on it
Adult written by GoruchDiogenes

Brentalfloss' amusing song pretty much sums up public servers and the immature-types that inhabit them. That said, the Raspberry Pi edition of Minecraft is the greatest teaching tool of the decade, IMHO.
Kid, 12 years old

The servers are mostly unsafe, I've only been on lifeboat but I couldn't say anything, because I had to register. People on there say very age-inappropriate things and they'll make inappropriate skins, for instance one time I saw a person's skin that was supposed to be what? Tarzan? It didn't show anything, it had a "breechcloth" and the guy didn't say anything, neither did anybody else. On multiplayer you can connect locally with your friends or siblings, which is a lot of fun. When we first got it I found it very addictive and fun, it's lost most of that but it's still popular, which is less popular than Fnaf. But it's still fun, I would just watch your children play online. And tell them when to get off.
Parent of a 10 year old written by girlzorba

I read the sentence above- "The game has a strong, positive online community ..." I am not sure what online community they are referring to, but I want to point out that the MANY servers that are available for anyone to play on are by far NOT positive. I have seen racial slurs, sexual innuendos and curse words in the chat dialog. My husband and I are constantly in arguments with our son to turn chat off. Of course, I should be a responsible parent and just take him off the servers but my drive for harmony sometimes wins out.
Adult written by ghost s.

I can see how it would be disturbing having that playing through a house, but your kid is exposed to that every time he goes to school.
Kid, 12 years old

This is HIGHLY untrue in most cases. When I was around 9 to 11 I used to play servers with my step bro and his best friend and it was a lot of fun and everyone is friendly. I also played at home. Everyone was friendly and helpful. So Minecraft servers are great and safe in most cases
Adult written by MichaelDu

Minecraft... Where to begin... Minecraft is a game that is a fad at the moment and will most likely become "the thing" in the past like most video games. Minecraft actually involves a lot of planning in survival mode. What do I need first to protect myself from enemies. most would say torches. and even though the world is generated somewhat random they are actually built with limited resources like in real life. Just like our natural resources and fossil fuels. so they need to make the most of what they got and that is not easy. trying not getting blown up by creepers or attacked by zombies. once they die with resources in inventory its long gone I use to be obsessed with Starcraft when it was "The Thing" that everyone played. But it may seem senseless to most parents going "That game has absolutely no value in intellect." Well when I played Starcraft I learned lots of interesting strategies that actually used math like... "Zergling take so and so time to make more units, how long do I have roughly to out speed my opponent that are most likely building bunkers to stop them." or "I need to gather more mineral and vespene gas to make more units, I have only so many to collect before they dry up and what unit is the best ideal for attacking my opponent that is a certain race." and the most economical simulated game of all time World of Warcraft. In world of warcraft there are fix prices at Vendors who sell you stuff so no matter what they stay the same price or the Auction house which allows you to buy and sell item using the game's in world currency at variable costs just in real life based on supply and demand. As an experienced "auction house player" I can change the prices when I get enough of the game currency to buy out the other people and create a monopoly also like if you buy most of stocks for a company you become ceo. also the World of Warcraft economy is so similar to real companies and even countries are looking into ideas that World of Warcraft uses to resolve the inflation of prices on stuff. Oh and your surgeon if he plays video games he has more accuracy and less likey to make a mistake and can problem solve faster