If you have kids, chances are your young ones are playing the highly addictive video game Minecraft. Utilising basic block retro-inspired graphics, it is an simple yet extremely innovative combination of gaming genres like building, fighting, resource management, exploration, crafting, etc.
Released in 2011 by a Swedish company Mojang, Minecraft is one of the great tech success stories. Since its launch, the Minecraft gamer base has grown exponentially and Mojang was recently bought by Microsoft for a mind-blowing $2.5 billion !
So is Minecraft good for kids?
In fact, many schools around the world are starting to use Minecraft as a teaching tool for young kids. A teacher from USA was quoted, “I have tried to use video games to teach my kids but I have always had to change my lesson to suit the game. Minecraft is the first game that allows me to change the game to suit my lessons.”
Here are the top 5 reasons why Minecraft is good for kids:
1. It fosters Creativity
Unlike other video games, Minecraft gamers get total freedom to create their own world. Everything that happens inside the game is completely up to them – e.g. buildings, mining, farming, etc. No two games are alike.
It is very rewarding seeing a concept developed in a kids head be realised in the game. And some creations I have seen from very young Miners are truly amazing!
2. It develops Problem Solving skills
There are no manuals for Minecraft. Players learn by doing, failing, trying again. Through patience and perseverance, eventually they figure out what works and what doesn’t which they can then apply to their adventure. What great concepts to teach your kids!
3. It is a Kid Safe game
Unlike many of today’s popular video games, there is no sex, foul language and what little violence is in the game is presented in old 80s style arcade graphics. The fighting can even be completely turned off making Minecraft a pure building game.
To further illustrate how kid-safe Minecraft is, here is the first episode of a popular Minecraft video series on YouTube made by a young Aussie Melbourne primary school boy gamer called BattleBall. Recorded and narrated by the cute young gamer, it is fun and clean entertainment that also provides lots of useful tips for beginners. Enjoy !
4. It encourages Proactive Learning
On the surface, Minecraft appears to be an incredibly simple block building game. But it has surprising layers of amazing complexity. With a virtually limitless crafting system and increasing “mods”, there is so much to experiment and learn.
You will find your kid proactively expanding their Minecraft knowledge by searching out Minecraft books, googling tips on the internet, watching popular YouTube tutorials, etc.
5. It is great Family Fun
I have always been a big fan of parents playing games with their children . To me it is the modern day equivalent of playing a board game. With the right game, you can not only connect with your kids but also educate them along the way while having loads of fun together!
Imagine having a private Minecraft server where only family members and friends can connect too. Each one lays his or her part in developing the world and form parties to explore dangerous maps together. Isn’t a great way to bridge the generation gap between kids and adults?
Just a couple of final caveats before I end this blog post.
As with any video games, Minecraft is quite addictive. Moderation and control is key and watch out for signs of unhealthy obsession in your child’s behavior.
Also, Minecraft does have a multiplayer element to it though it is totally optional. As with public servers of any games, there are all sorts of characters and some behave in a manner that should not be exposed to young children. Understandably, many parents only allow their kids to play on standalone PC mode.
Having said that, go forth and have some Minecraft fun !
Toy Figure World stocks lots of Minecraft loose action figures and accessories at great prices. Check out the Minecraft section on our Ebay store now !