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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DanTDM is a YouTube gaming channel created by charming Brit Dan Middleton. Middleton's videos initially focused heavily on Minecraft (the acronym "TDM" stands for "The Diamond Minecart," a Minecraft reference). Now he plays a variety of games; most games, but not all, are kid-friendly. Most DanTDM videos are straightforward -- he just plays the game and comments. Sometimes he creates characters, such as Dr. Trayaurus, as well as storylines for the characters within the game. Middleton doesn't swear, and there's no suggestive talk or portrayals of drug or alcohol use. Still, a few game series (such as Happy Wheels) include portrayals of gory violence (a kid character in Happy Wheels blows off his grandpa's limbs and stabs his mom in the back with a knife that she's asked him to "throw" to her), and Middleton laughs and makes jokes about the violence ("He's got mad throwing skills ... now he's killed his mom ... that was awesome"). Middleton also has his own YouTube Red series, he's written a children's book, and he's toured with a live show.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Many of DANTDM's videos center on Dan Middleton's own Minecraft gameplay (Trayaurus' Minecraft Christmas Countdown?!). A few DanTDM videos aren't so kid-friendly and include some game-based violence (Happy Wheels Dumb Ways to Die!). Other non-Minecraft gameplay videos focus on characters and storylines Middleton's created (Tomodachi Life). A few may be scary to younger DanTDM fans but not so scary to older viewers (Fell Off My Chair: Five Nights at Freddy's 2).
Is it any good?
For kids who love Minecraft, DanTDM is a dream come true. Dan Middleton is a happy, friendly gaming enthusiast -- just what many kids would love the adults in their home to be. Middleton shows them cool, new features of kids' favorite games and gets just as excited about every detail as they do. He feigns fear of games such as Five Nights at Freddy's. To his credit, unlike many other YouTubers, Middleton usually talks as if he knows and respects that young kids are watching. Unfortunately, not all games he chooses to play on DanTDM live up to that same kid-friendly status. With kids as young as 5 watching this YouTube channel, it complicates things to feature gory, violent gaming content, even as a tiny footnote to the rest of the fun, creative, kid-friendly content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difference between playing Minecraft and other games vs. watching someone else play them. How can kids' own gameplay benefit from watching DanTDM videos?
Check out Top 10 Kid-Friendly Minecraft Channels on YouTube for exploring more Minecraft gaming videos beyond DanTDM.
Talk to your kid about YouTube stars. Middleton is so extraordinarily relatable to kids, even to very young kids, that they may feel like he's a real friend. How can this help or hinder real friendships?
For kids who love Minecraft
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.