If you have a computer, Xbox, or even a smart phone in your house, chances are you’ve heard the word Minecraft a few times. Maybe it was when your kids asked permission to download it? You may have even asked “What is Minecraft,” but you probably didn’t get much more of an answer than “it’s a video game.”
So then, what is Minecraft? Is it safe for your kids to play? We have the answers for you!
Minecraft (n): An open world game in which players can create and manipulate the world around them using tools and blocks found during game play.
There are several modes of gameplay to choose from:
In survival mode, players can create and build, but must be careful to keep their hunger and health up. There are many challenges such as monsters, falling into water or lava, and starvation. There is also a limit on the amount of items a player can carry, which adds to the challenge.
Creative mode is somewhat of a free-for-all. Players have access to almost all of the resources available in the game through their inventory menu, and do not have to worry about health or hunger. They can fly anywhere they would like in the game, and can concentrate on building projects. This mode is the best for younger kids just starting out in the game.
Adventure mode is similar to survival mode, but has a few more restrictions. In this mode, players may not place or destroy blocks without the appropriate tools. They must follow specifically crafted maps or adventures, and play the game the way their particular map intended them to.
There is also a multiplayer mode, but it is not hosted on the Minecraft server. Players must run their own server, use another host, or a local area network. Playing in multiplayer mode allows for teamwork, competition, and even fighting. This year, Minecraft Realms was created with the intention of letting children run multiplayer games easily and safely. Still, we do not recommend this mode for kids without parent supervision.
Why do kids love this game so much? Minecraft is challenging and exciting. It is a great outlet for boys who want to do nothing more than build huge detailed projects. In Minecraft they can do this easily without making a huge mess in the house. Win-win situation!
Like all video games, especially with online play, it’s important to know what your children are doing and monitor them as much as possible. But we think that Minecraft is a great outlet for our boys.
Do you have any Minecraft players in your home?