In the Keep Up With What’s Up segment on The Jeffrey Dean Show last week, we highlighted the highly successful world of video game: Minecraft. This fit perfectly with our topic of conversation: Time Management and Communication with your family. If you’ve listened over the past two weeks, then you know I offered some great tips on using your teens fascination with video games to your favor when it comes to your family spending time together.
A Decade Later, It’s Still A Hit!
Minecraft has been around for nearly a decade, and it’s still a massive hit among this generation. Here’s why – Minecraft to most kids is like a bad-boyfriend-break-up song to Taylor Swift! Minecraft to most kids is the equivalent of the color gold to President Trump! Can I give you one more – – Minecraft to most kids is like the return of boy band “Back Street Boys” to middle-aged moms…and probably a few dads…they just can’t get enough!
Minecraft is for every kid who loves to build cool stuff and to think strategically in the process. Wielding virtual chunks of wood, stone and other materials. Players get to scamper around a blocky virtual landscape and just piece stuff together. Really, whatever they can imagine – – parks, lakes, castles, canyons, hideouts, houses…
There is a social aspect to Minecraft. There hasn’t always been. But, over the years Minecraft has evolved to offer a more social experience. Players can team up online to construct sprawling cities, and, similar to Fortnite, as I detailed last week, Minecraft has this Hunger Games style-battles.
I won’t take the time now to tell you how to play the game. There is a ton of “how to play” sites out there that can take you step-by-step through the elaborate world of Minecraft and walk you through the various modes to help you build, fend off enemies, and even fly around at will.
Two questions I am often asked by parents:
Is Minecraft Violent?
Similar to Fortnite, there is fighting and killing. Players can fight monsters, and fight one another with swords, bows, and other simple weapons. However, combat is cartoonish and bloodless. When a player dies, they often simply respawn at the spot where they entered the game.
Will My Kid Interact With Strangers?
By default, players sharing the same Minecraft world can send messages using an in-game chat window. People tend to be friendly in the world, especially on the more popular servers. A filter blanks out most offensive language.
The chat window does have a toggle in the upper right-hand corner that will mute all other players with a single tap. Once mute is turned on, it stays on until manually switched off again, even if your child starts a new game.
The game itself is free to play. But the dozens of add-ons can add-up! There is also a monthly subscription version that allows you to host your own private realm.
Jump In With Your Kid!
As I often suggest, one of the best ways to learn about games such as Minecraft, and to keep up with what’s up in your son or daughter’s world, is to do your research, and then, if you agree to let your son or daughter play, jump into a game with them; play as a family. With Minecraft, it’s such a creative game with an unlimited amount of options, you and your family can make it your goal to work together to build something awesome.
A heads-up – – right now Apple has a free “Parents Guide To Minecraft” tutorial in the App Store. So, you may want to check that out.