You may have heard your child talking about Minecraft at times but you have no idea what he means. So what is the big deal anyway? Do you really need to know what Minecraft is and how it works? Well, in case you are not aware… Microsoft had spent $2.5 billion to acquire the rights to the game which your child is probably playing, so it makes sense to pay attention.
This is what Minecraft is all about…
This is a video game created by the Mojang gaming studio and Minecraft is what is normally known as a sandbox game. That means that there are no real objectives or plots involved. Just like your toddlers play freely in a sandbox, your older children can pretty much make up their own rules in Minecraft. And it is all based on a building block format.
When the sun rises on a typical day in this virtual video game world, materials are dug up from the ground (you “mine” first, and then “craft” your creations in block form). Those blocks are then used to create just about any type of 3D object. Your child’s imagination and creativity are uniquely developed in a way that makes sense to him.
Kids have created literally everything, from complex working computers to simple villages, animals (like the one shown below) and houses. And there are plenty of different habitats and terrains to explore.
Imagine LEGO blocks in digital form. That is probably the best description of Minecraft that there is. However, unlike the physical LEGO building blocks and the worlds you can create with them, Minecraft is populated by monsters that like to roam around at night, sometimes destroying your child’s handiwork. There is an actual LEGO set created that gives you a sense of it.
More than 50 million copies have been sold on PC, mobile and console platforms. Minecraft conventions for young and old alike have sprung up. A Minecraft Opera and movie deal are also in the works.
As a parent, it pays to know what games your child is playing because it can become a common talking and sharing point for both. The good news is that Minecraft has very little downside. It does not get your child as physically active as outdoor games, but it does spark your child’s mental development and sense of individuality. Kids can create literally anything they dream up, and this drives home the point to your children that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.
The next time your child sits down for some Minecraft, ask them to explain it to you (even though you have some rough idea after reading this article) and get involved (build something if you like). There are plenty of adults that enjoyed the LEGO block building pastime when they were children, and now those same joys can be experienced with the Minecraft video game.