Parent’s Guide to Minecraft

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Overview (1 min read)

Minecraft is a sandbox-adventure video game. The style is called “sandbox” because it provides a creative landscape with no fixed goal and endless possibilities. Its blocky design is rather kid-like, too: Characters’ heads are square, colors appear in chunks, and even trees look like they were grown in a Lego lab. Like any playground, Minecraft doesn’t come with instructions, and it’s relatively simple to pick up and play. You learn the game through exploration, experimentation, watching YouTube videos, and reading other fan-created content (there’s a lot of it online). And the more you play, the more you learn what to do and how to use the available resources, such as redstone and different kinds of ore, to make ever-more-complex tools and structures.

Minecraft can be played very safely. In single-player Creative mode on the Peaceful setting, for example, there is no interaction with others and no conflict. But eventually, most kids want to play with others, and multiplayer gaming invites some risks. Though Minecraft communities are generally welcoming, and server moderators are responsible for keeping things orderly, kids can get exposed to strong language, bullying, and even hate speech. Minecraft isn’t immune from predators, either. And since fans of the game range in age all the way up to adult, the player-created environments can contain bloody (but not gory) battles, sexual scenarios, and other mature content. If you want to allow your kid to play multiplayer, the best way to reduce the possibility of exposure to age-inappropriate language, content, and interactions is for them to join a “realm,” an invitation-only personal Minecraft server for up to 10 players created by someone they know. Otherwise, find an established server with very good moderators, such as one of these vetted Minecraft servers or one just for kids.

Essential Reading

This overview has been adapted from Common Sense Media. To read more click on the button below – it is a great starting point!

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Recommended Websites and Online Resources

Alongside the videos coming up, we’ve selected a handful of useful links and websites that will help you to get to grips with this topic.

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