If you are a parent of a kid between the ages of 5-13, then you probably know what Minecraft is. It is a sandbox video game, available for different platforms and becoming more than just a video game for kids.
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is a Lego-style building game which is massively increasing in popularity over the past several years. The game allows players to create cube sandbox constructions in a three-dimensional world and build anything they want. There are three available versions: mobile, PC and console and it can be played by one or multiple players.
How does Minecraft work?
There are three Minecraft modes: creative, adventure and survival.
- Creative: This mode is the best one for Minecraft beginners to get used to the game before moving to the other game modes. As monsters can neither attack nor kill their character.
- Adventure: This mode doesn`t allow users to break down the blocks, but lets to kill animals or monsters and vice versa.
- Survival: Players need to learn how to confront monsters and other dangers. But there is also an option to turn monsters off by tapping “Escape”. For it, you need to change the game difficulty to “Peaceful”.
Also, there are two available Minecraft options: single and multiplayer.
- Single-player: Using this option anybody can neither join nor contact a player through the Minecraft chat during a game.
- Multiplayer: This option allows users to join any game they want, whether private or public. Besides, players can interact with others whether they are friends or strangers through the chat.
How can help Minecraft to my kids?
Firstly, Minecraft provides kids with unprecedented opportunities to fulfill their creativity. For instance, they can build lavish buildings or explore extensive cave systems underground. Who knows maybe Minecraft will help your kid to reveal their architectural genius and find their calling.
Secondly, since kids engage with each other on Minecraft, it may help to improve social skills, learn how to cooperate and work as a team. Additionally, Minecraft helps kids with autism to improve communication abilities and social skills. There is even a Minecraft server for autism and ADHD kids.
Thirdly, kids need to learn new tools and discover how to survive (for instance, feed their avatar or build a shelter before night falls). Consequently, Minecraft promotes problem-solving and helps kids to enhance their memory.
Minecraft: What dangers it has
While this game is helpful to build such skills as creativity, innovation, and collaboration, there is always a risk for kids to be involved in online dangers. Like the others gaming platforms, Minecraft poses the following dangers to kids:
- Interaction with strangers;
- Hacking attack;
- Hazardous links;
- Malware download;
- Inappropriate content;
What can parents do about Minecraft?
To keep kids safe while they use Minecraft, as a parent you need to make sure that:
- You have a clue where your kids are playing;
- They use appropriate safety settings;
- They know how to act if they notice something upsetting.
Also, it is essential to follow the safety rules below:
- Turn chat feature off
Using Minecraft multiplayer mode kids can communicate with other users they come across online. As you understand they may meet online predators, cyberbullies or any other strangers there. So turning the chat feature off helps to ensure your minors don`t interact with people they don`t know.
Here is how to do it:
- Go to “Options”;
- Choose multiplayer settings;
- Tap on chat;
- Choose “Shown” or “Hidden”. Also, you can choose “Commands only”.
- Find reliable server
Minecraft has a lot of child-friendly servers, which has different restrictions and aimed at safe Minecraft usage. You can search them online or contact the O2 & NSPCC Online Safety Helpline for more information.
- Be on guard against malicious software
Keep in mind that malicious software and hazardous viruses can be easily downloaded by purchasing illegal versions of Minecraft, as well as additional “modes” (add-ons for changing the content or gameplay on Minecraft).
So, make sure that you purchase Minecraft only from the official website and your kids download nothing without your permission.
- Establish time limits
Online gaming may be very engrossing for young kids. Consequently, they fail to stay aware of the time playing days and nights. That`s why it is essential to have a talk about their screen time and discuss how long they are allowed to play.
- Use parental controls
If you doubt that your kid is ready for Minecraft or can use it responsively, you can restrict access to the app with such apps like Kidgy. Additionally, with Kidgy you can monitor your kid`s device for potentially dangerous apps and sites, preventing unvented activities and interaction.
To cut a long story short, the key to help your kids get the best of Minecraft is to teach them how to use it safely and responsively. Hopefully out tips will come in handy to help your kids to enjoy the game in a healthy way.