Internet, Networking, & Security Family Tech Should Your Child (Or You) Play Minecraft? Is Minecraft right for your kid? Let's talk about it. By Michael Fulton Writer Michael Fulton is a former Lifewire writer, video producer and a video game enthusiast specializing in the concept of Minecraft. our editorial process Michael Fulton Updated June 24, 2019 Family Tech The Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls Tweet Share Email So, you’re a parent and your child has recently started talking about a thing called Minecraft. They’ve mentioned it’s a video game and that they’d like to play it. They’ve more than likely watched plenty of YouTube videos on the subject and more than likely know everything about it, but you’re still confused. What is Minecraft and should you let your child play it? In this article we will be discussing why Minecraft is very beneficial for children, teenagers, and even adults! Creativity Giving a child the opportunity to play Minecraft is like handing them a book and crayons. A better analogy would be giving them Legos, however. Minecraft allows children to express themselves in a world completely manipulatable by themselves through the concept of placing and removing blocks. With hundreds of available blocks to choose from, their imagination is likely to wander to great places. Minecraft’s popularity has inspired many new creations from players and have offered plenty of opportunities for new creative outlets inside the game. Many players who may have never once been interested in finding an artistic outlet have unintentionally found a place to let their artistic visions roam free. With Minecraft being a game that is three-dimensional, rather than two-dimensional, players have found they may enjoy creating large houses, statues, structures, and plenty of other things that they may come up with. Finding an outlet to create and express yourself is very beneficial for a child, even if expressing yourself is as simple as building a small virtual home in a world of blocks. With nobody to judge your creations, nobody to tell you what you’re doing is wrong, and nobody to tell you what you can and can’t do in your own little world, you can only expect positive outcomes. Problem Solving Minecraft’s ability to help players solve problems has only been increasing as more and more features have been added to the game. When a player wants to make something in their game and can’t figure out how to do it, Minecraft encourages you to find a way around it. When you put your mind on something that you want to accomplish in Minecraft, you can bet th at you’ll try your hardest to get the job done. Upon completing your goal that you’ve set for yourself, you’ll more than likely feel very happy that you’ve finished what you probably thought was impossible at the very beginning. This feeling usually doesn’t dilapidate immediately, and will probably come back every time you see your build. After seeing your past builds, you may feel inspired to create something new and even more complex than before. As you’re starting a new build, you’re probably going to be going through the same motions of solving problems that appeared upon creation the first time around. Giving players the opportunity to find their own answers to issues provides a backbone of reassurance for any future problems they may run into (in or out of the video game). When making a new build, it’s important to have this reassurance. Feeling confident in finding solutions to problems is very beneficial, especially when real life scenarios are involved. After playing Minecraft, you may find your child is looking at problems given to him or her more logically. When a player comes up with an idea for something in Minecraft, usually the idea is premeditated and planned. Thinking ahead, before making something in Minecraft, allows players to understand what they are wanting to do in a more orderly fashion. This idea of thinking in Minecraft can very easily translate to solving problems in the real world, as well. Fun Finding something to enjoy can be an extremely irritating process as a child, teen, or even an adult. For plenty of people, video games deliver an immediate form of plenty of fun and can be a great way to spend time. Unlike most video games, Minecraft tends to differ. Usually, video games tend to have an end goal or something along those lines. While Minecraft does have an “ending”, it is completely optional. Minecraft has no predetermined goal, set by the video game itself, whatsoever. All goals in Minecraft are set by the player alone. In Minecraft, there is no source telling you what you can and cannot do. The factor of no entity specifically telling you how to enjoy the game gives players the freedom to experience Minecraft in their own way. Giving players the ability to lose themselves in their own little world allows for creativity to shine through and demonstrates their skills through their various creations. The power that Minecraft holds in letting a person to enjoy themselves while doing what they feel like is extremely great. The nature of telling a person what to do makes a video game feel more of a chore than an experience, a lot of the time. While many enjoy being given a path to follow in video games, in my many years of playing Minecraft, I’ve yet to hear a single complaint about it’s lack of directing a player. Relieves Stress A while back in a past article, we discussed why Minecraft was such a relaxing video game to experience. From being able to escape your daily life, to having an endless sandbox to adventure within, to being able to create anything that you want, and many more reasons, Minecraft somehow brings us peace.Minecraft’s ability to relieve a person’s stress through the various elements of gameplay that it features is beyond amazing. Minecraft was essentially built to be whatever you want the video game to be. Being able to experience a video game in whatever your ideal concept of gameplay is will always be inspiring. This freedom allows players to feel at ease, knowing if they want a more intense type of experience or a slowed down and peaceful experience, the option to change it is only within a few clicks away. Minecraft’s vast customization options are a definite plus in terms of creating a desired playing experience. Finding your perfect way to experience Minecraft is an essential part in reducing your stress while playing. If the game isn’t up to your expectations, there is more than likely a modification that will allow for an enriched gaming session. Used In Schools If you’ve not yet been convinced that you should allow your child to play Minecraft, maybe this will peak your interest. In 2011, MinecraftEDU was released to the public. The very popular mod was immediately noticed by schools all around the world. Teachers began noticing that Minecraft’s ability to impact a child’s learning was much greater than expected. Learning with a pencil and paper became a thing of the past in many classrooms. Instructors in schools began taking students on tours of famous cities in our real world, in Minecraft. Teachers also began teaching other various basic studies, as well. After the popularity of MinecraftEDU grew, Mojang and Microsoft caught wind of the commotion. Buying up MinecraftEDU as quickly as they could, both Microsoft and Mojang announced Minecraft: Education Edition. This would become the first officially licensed Minecraft spin-off video game dedicated to teaching. Vu Bui, COO of Mojang stated, “One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground. We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.” In Conclusion While many parents have conflicting views on whether or not video games should be allowed in a household, consider Minecraft a toy. Minecraft is essentially a toy for kids, teenagers, and adults of any gender. The ability to learn something new, have the option to manipulate your own world, bring your ideas to life in the form of virtual blocks, and much more should inspire you to allow your child to embark on a new creative outlet. If anything, the ability to do all of those various things should inspire you to try it with your loved one (or by yourself). Growing stronger and stronger every day, Minecraft has a very positive community to let your child experience. Minecraft’s community spans many various ideas. Individuals of all ages love to experience Minecraft, whether the community they may be in be based around servers in which your child may play on online with other people, videos on YouTube, and much more. Minecraft’s popularity is only growing larger and larger within schools, allowing for a great way to create friendships with other students. Heavily consider allowing your child try and experience Minecraft, as they may find a passion they had no idea they had. For many, artistic abilities and skills they may have never attempted to use were found because of Minecraft. Constantly being surrounded by manipulatable environments allows players to feel as if they are completely in control of what happens in their virtual sandbox. Breaking blocks, fighting mobs, creating unthought of structures and machines, learning various educational elements, and much more are all available through Minecraft. Do not be afraid to help your child take steps towards another adventure in learning, finding their artistic passion, or finding a way to relieve their stress. Minecraft’s impact on your child may be the next stepping stone in inspiring them to better themselves in a way they may have never imagined. If you’re at all concerned or on the fence in regards to allowing your loved one to indulge in this video game, understand that millions of people have been playing and loving Minecraft since it’s initial release. Keep an open mind and maybe even give the video game a shot for yourself. You have no idea what small (or large) impact it may make on you.