I have to admit, I came a little late to the Minecraft party. I remember a coworker showing me an early build of the game and I basically dismissed it. Boy was I wrong. When I finally did give it a try, I found it to be one of the most engaging games I have ever played, and perfect for my children as well.
Today, both my kids and I play the game separately and even together on a regular basis. From sprawling creative worlds to survival worlds we have created and played in them all. It has become a fun family game night for all of us and one I hope continues for many years to come.
While we all have fun playing Minecraft, it actually offers much more than just a distraction like so many video games. There are many reasons that all parents should love Minecraft. Today, let’s take a look at why parents love Minecraft so we all can understand how great this game really is and why all children should give it a try instead of playing some of the other mindless video games offered today.
It’s a great tool for learning.
While Minecraft is marketed as a game, it is also a great tool for learning. It didn’t take long for schools and even universities to pick up the game as a tool to teach things such as language, math, and even history. At the same time, the game also teaches more high level skills that ever child needs such as logic, problem solving, goal setting, science, economics and even literacy. In Minecraft, kids can experiment safely and learn from their mistakes. It can even be a great tool to teach budding architects as they can learn what makes a building work and the importance of aesthetics in their building. All this comes together to create a great educational tool that will teach kids both in and out of the classroom.
It makes you use your brain.
Minecraft isn’t like many other games where players sit mindlessly staring at a screen shooting bad guys. It is more of an interactive and immersive playground that gives you the tools to create your own destiny but not much else. This means that as soon as you are placed into the world you are going to have to think about what your next move will be and strategize your plan. This is especially true in survival mode. If you don’t plan, you could find yourself pushing up daisies rather quickly.
Players must come up with solutions that range from how to survive in a hostile environment to how they will find their way back if they decide to go spelunking down a deep cave or cavern. If you take this a little farther, you will get into even more complex brain skills that require you to plan and organize in order to be successful in the game. The game teaches kids to learn new information and retain the knowledge and then use it in new and different ways. That’s something that GTA just won’t do.
The game is very kid friendly.
If there is one thing about this game that differs from so many others it is that the game is very kid friendly. You won’t find any bad language or adult themes present in this game and there is no blood or any other type of gore. The graphics are blocky and cartoony and even when you kill a zombie all they do is fall to the ground and vanish. You don’t have to worry about exposing your kids to anything they are not ready for with this game. Of course, there is the multiplayer version of Minecraft which allows players to connect to servers around the world. In these servers you can find adults trash talking and saying things you may not want your kids to hear. But if you monitor their server usage just a little, you can stop them from being exposed to anything adult that you are not ready for them to see or hear.
It fosters creativity.
When you load up a world in Minecraft, all you have is an environment to run around in. If you want something to use, you are going to have to build it yourself. This type of environment teaches kids to be creative as they create everything in the world from the places they live to farms to sprawling cave systems to mine. As they interact with the world, they will have to use their brains to creatively solve problems so they continue. Whether it is building a makeshift bridge to get across a great chasm underground or creating a sprawling home in which they can live in their world. At the same time, the game is completely open and allows you to create anything you can imagine. This stimulates a child’s imagination and encourages them to use the creative centers of their brain in a way not usually duplicated by other video games out there.
It helps with focus.
In today’s world many adults are worried about the focus of their children as they watch them move from one thing to another without giving anything more than a passing thought. It is an understandable concern as many things in life take more than just a quick passing thought. That is what makes Minecraft so great. It rewards focus and determination and makes kids want to succeed. I have seen kids that have been diagnosed with attention disorders sit and focus on Minecraft for hours at a time as they try to reach a goal they have set for themselves in the world they created. This skill they are learning without ever realizing it will help them later in life when tasks become more complicated and more focus is needed for them to be successful.
The game itself is one of the most flexible games ever created. It features both a survival and creative mode and even allows you to adjust the settings of each of these main gameplay settings even more. Don’t want monsters? No problem. Want to just build without having to gather resources? Creative is perfect for you. Want to test yourself against the world and see if you have what it takes to survive? Fire up a survival game and see how you do.
On top of that, there are a ton of third party mods and enhancements that add new gameplay options and new blocks and other items for you to enjoy and use in your builds. Combine all this together and you have one of the most flexible and powerful games ever created that both kids and adults can enjoy.
It teaches computer skills.
Speaking of mods, managing those mods and installing them, activating them and even removing them takes a few computer skills. The desire to use these mods will encourage your children to learn many of the basic computer skills they will need later in life. For the truly adventurous, you can even create your own mods to further customize your experience. While this takes a little bit more knowledge of the game and the computer, it is a great way to take a child’s computer skills to the next level while they do something they enjoy. I don’t know about you, but a child learning while they play and have fun is one of the easiest ways, I think, to teach a child, especially if they don’t enjoy boring lectures.
It’s perfect for a variety of players.
Most games are created in one particular genre that appeals to only a certain type of gamer. This isn’t so with Minecraft. Say you have one child who loves to build and create things, Minecraft is perfect for her. But what about her younger brother that loves to run around exploring and killing mobs? No worries, you can do that in Minecraft as well. No matter what your gaming preference, Minecraft offers something for you that will keep you coming back for more. In many cases, different types of players banding together can make for some of the best gameplay you can find in any type of game, which leads us to our next entry in this list.
It encourages teamwork.
Minecraft is hands down one of the best games for collaboration. While you can go it alone, if you really want to make a particularly impressive build, it is much easier to have help. Players have banded together across the world to create some truly impressive creations that everyone can enjoy. You can even play and cooperate with your family to collect resources while protecting each other from attacks from aggressive mobs and work together to create the perfect base or brave the Nether or The End together to fight some of the toughest mobs in the game and collect some of the rarest resources in the game.
The game is very affordable.
In today’s gaming world, parents are often faced with a world of updates that cost money and even micro-transactions to improve gameplay. This simply isn’t the case with Minecraft. The initial game costs anywhere from $20 – $30 and even less for the mobile versions of the game. After that, there are no more costs to speak of. Sure on some versions you can purchase avatars to change your characters appearance, but many of these are also available for free. Considering that most kids that love Minecraft play it for years after that initial investment, overall you get a pretty darn good return. Still want to make changes to the game, no problem. We have already mentioned the huge amounts of mods that you can download at no charge to customize your experience. As you can see, Minecraft is one of the best entertainment and educational investments you can make.
It’s just plain fun.
All the education aside, Minecraft is just downright fun to play for people of all ages. I think I love the game as much as my children do. After all, there is nothing wrong with having a little fun in life and why not do it by using something that is family friendly and fun for all ages. Play it with your kids and build something together so you can have fun as a family in a safe and friendly way that everyone will enjoy.
As you can see, there are many reasons why parents love Minecraft, and you should, too. Minecraft offers one of the most rewarding and educational experiences in a video game that I have ever seen and it does it in a truly fun package that is interesting and unique. While the game never set out to be an educational experience for children, in many ways it has created an environment that can teach skills that many of the best teachers even find difficult to impart to young minds today, and it does it in a safe family friendly environment where you can learn and have fun together.
If your child plays Minecraft or if you have a kid that is asking for it, don’t dismiss it. It is hands down one of the best video games and educational tools that you could buy for your kids. With its small price tag combined with superb gameplay tools that will both entertain and educate your child for days or even years, it is a great investment to make. So order your copy of Minecraft today and get started on your journey with your child that you both will never forget.