Minecraft Parental Guide | Should You Let Your Little Ones Play Minecraft?
It’s happening! Your little ones want you to install Minecraft for them and you’re not sure whether or not you should do it. But dad, all the cool kids are playing it. Mike has already killed the Ender Dragon twice, that’s sooooo cool! How should you react to this form of kid pressure (sort of like peer pressure but much, much worse) seeing as you’ve never set foot inside the block-packed world of Minecraft? Well, worry not young padawan, for our Minecraft parental guide has all the answers you need!
Well, perhaps not all of them… but we’ll definitely cover the most important bits you need for making that decision! Let’s start out with the basics – what is Minecraft?
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is a procedurally generated voxel-based game that allows players to create and destroy all sorts of blocks in colorful 3D worlds. It was released on this very day exactly twelve years ago and now stands proudly as the bestselling video game of all time with more than 200 million sales.
Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon! The game has roughly 140 million monthly players, making it one of the most popular video games out there. It’s fun to play for players of all age groups; it’s even more entertaining to watch prominent community figures stream their gameplay. For a while now, Minecraft has been more than just a game – it’s a movement that’s encompassing a good portion of video game enthusiasts across the globe!
At first, Minecraft was a sandbox game. What’s a sandbox game, you may ask. Well, it’s a game that gives you a creative landscape and allows you to do anything you want without constantly pulling your sleeves and pointing you to various goals, milestones, and objectives.
Today, though, Minecraft has a clear goal – defeating the Ender Dragon. The sandbox aspects are still present; the game will in no way control your activities and push you towards the main “quest line”. It’s still very much an open-world sandbox experience that allows you to do whatever you please at whatever pace suits your playstyle the best.
Different Game Modes in Minecraft
There are two main game modes in Minecraft: creative and survival. The creative game mode allows players of all skill levels to place and destroy blocks without any limitations. They have unlimited resources, have the ability to fly, and monsters won’t attack or cause any damage. As its title suggests, creative mode is meant to allow players to stretch their imaginations and create marvelous attractions in their Minecraft worlds.
The second game mode is survival. It is basically the way Minecraft was meant to be played. The focus is on survival, crafting tools, weapons, armor, and searching for sustainable food sources. You’ll also have to create some sort of a base for crafting and storing items in between your voyages.
Everything is rainbows and butterflies during the day. However, as soon as the sun goes beneath the horizon, all sorts of monsters start swarming the surface. Minecraft world (aka the Overworld) is not exactly a charming place during the night so players have to be careful at all times!
Alongside the two main game modes in Minecraft, there’s also the hardcore mode. It’s basically survival mode but without second chances; if you die, it’s all over! Hardcore mode brings for a much more thrilling experience for Minecraft veterans who aren’t afraid of premature death.
Moving on with our Minecraft parental guide, let’s focus on other games that are (at least to some extent) a part of the Minecraft ecosystem. Each of them adds a unique spin to the blocky world we all know and love. Let’s check them out!
Minecraft: Story Mode
If your kids love digital storytelling, then Minecraft: Story Mode ought to be right up their alley! This game eliminates the sandbox experience of Minecraft. There’s no exploration, complex crafting mechanics, and endless roaming throughout the Overworld, Nether, and the End.
Instead, as the game’s name suggests, it focuses on the storytelling side of things. Minecraft: Story mode follows Jesse and a group of friends into a mesmerizing adventure that your little ones are going to adore.
However, keep in mind that Minecraft: Story Mode might not be suitable for kids below the age of 10. There are lots of mild cuss words and certain story parts could be too much for younger audiences. It’s just something to think about before you end up buying the game for your 5-year-old.
This 3D isometric title is the newest Minecraft spinoff! Released in May last year, Minecraft Dungeons is something in between standard Minecraft and Story Mode spinoff. The gameplay is based on a linear storyline, but the way the game feels is much different. It focuses on simple yet complex hack-and-slash combat mechanics that are a huge hit with younger audiences. There are also several big DLCs available, further spicing up what ought to be the best Minecraft spinoff yet!
Minecraft: Earth is sort of like Pokemon GO in Minecraft’s ecosystem. The game was released in 2019 for mobile devices and used augmented reality to bring Minecraft into the real world. However, the game failed to make a proper impression because of the ongoing health crisis and is expected to shut down after next month. Perhaps it would’ve been a huge hit if the world wasn’t engulfed in necessary social distancing measures.
Is Minecraft Violent?
Minecraft does have some combat elements and scary sounds, but none are present in the game’s creative mode. Yep, the creative mode is the mode you should be investigating if your little ones want a scare-free gaming experience. In creative mode, everything is chockfull of rainbows and butterflies; monsters will spawn but they will not attack the player.
However, that all changes as soon as you boot up survival mode. Even on easy, survival mode offers a “survival” experience in which you’ll have to fight off various types of monsters.
The same goes for online gameplay too. Creative servers do exist; they often feature all kinds of building competitions and similar contests. However, the vast majority of online interactions in Minecraft is of violent nature. Even though video games don’t cause violence, it’s understandable that some parents don’t want their little ones exposed to violent interactions.
Even though Minecraft isn’t the perfect non-violent game, it’s definitely among the “most chill” specimens out there!
Right Age to Start Playing Minecraft
There’s no one size fits all kind of answer here. But, worry not – our Minecraft parental guide will still bring you right up to speed!
So, when should you allow your kids to start playing Minecraft?
The default age has been set to 7, which is sort of a good all-around answer here. But, if your children aren’t 7 yet but they’re already way too much to handle regarding Minecraft installation, it won’t hurt to test the waters.
Set them up with creative mode first! There are no scary sounds or monsters that will attack them; they will feel safe and that’s what matters the most. The creative mode is the best way to introduce younger children to Minecraft. It’s a completely safe environment they can relax and play around in. It’s basically a digital Lego world!
Minecraft Parental Guide | FAQ
Our guide isn’t finished just yet! In this section we are going to try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions!
What Can I Do in Minecraft?
In Minecraft, your little ones can pretty much do anything they want! The game features a fully destructible environment and tons of blocks and items they can build, craft, destroy, and enhance. The procedurally generated worlds mean no two games of Minecraft will ever be the same.
Your kids can try to survive or even beat the game in survival mode. If they’re too young for that, you can always boot up good old creative mode for them and let their imagination gallop around! Minecraft offers tons of different options and can cater to even the neediest of gamers. Heck, that’s probably why it’s among the most popular video games ever!
Is Minecraft Safe?
You’ve heard stories about shady people communicating with children via online and you’re worried something like that could happen to your kids if they start playing Minecraft online. Well, the possibility always exists, that’s the nature of online interactions these days…
But, it’s important to familiarize your little ones with how online interactions work. Don’t use strong language, a simple, calm explanation will do the trick here. Just make sure they’re always 100% honest with you about everything they do online (not just Minecraft) and you should have nothing to worry about in the long run.
Can My Kids Play Minecraft with Friends Online?
Yes, Minecraft is a multiplayer game with numerous gameplay opportunities, and it features intuitive gameplay pairing with friends. The sheer number and variety of online game modes is absolutely outstanding! Lots of servers feature specialized mods that alter the gameplay one way or another. Overall, if your kids are over the age of 10, they are going to love playing online Minecraft with their friends.
Is Minecraft Addiction a Real Thing?
Minecraft is an entertaining, open-world game that allows players to do whatever they want. As such, it was always going to be mildly addictive. That said, if your little ones are spending too much time playing Minecraft, make sure you set some ground rules and limitations!
Is Minecraft Free?
Minecraft is not a free-to-play game! The prices vary from platform to platform, but you’ll end up paying roughly $30 for it. However, if you’re not ready to splash out the full price right away, you can have your kids test it out for free. Yep, Minecraft free trial does exist and it allows your little ones to spend some time in-game to see if they like it.