Even though Minecraft was released in 2009, it remains a popular gaming choice for kids. Just recently on May 26th, 2020, Minecraft Dungeons was released, a dungeon crawler game released on several different platforms that will eventually have additional downloadable content.
Many children (and adults!) find an endless appeal in being able to craft their own 3D world, discover new materials, and fight mobs. Minecraft also comes with several different modes, including a survival mode where players must maintain health and a creative mode where players have unlimited resources.
However, what you might not realize, is that not only is Minecraft entertaining for children, but it is also beneficial! Many parents worry about how much time their children spend playing video games, but Minecraft is one of those games that could help them improve their cognitive and social skills.
Boosts their creative skills
There are so many ways Minecraft can be played, allowing children the creativity to do whatever they want. Many children realize they have no limitations and get really creative.
Some children may enjoy constructing houses. Others might want to construct underground caves. And some might want to construct a 3D version of the Statue of Liberty. Whatever they want to do, Minecraft allows them to construct it! And for children that would rather explore the builds of others or go mining, that option is available as well.
While Minecraft can be played in solo mode, there is always a way to connect to others in multiplayer mode. Some players set up online servers to participate in multiplayer adventures. Multiplayer mode encourages children to work together to solve obstacles and collaborate to achieve success.
If you’re not comfortable with a public server, you can also set up a private server that is for your family and friends. Playing the game together could be a great way to bond as a family! To learn more about setting up a Minecraft server, check out this resource from MangoMatter Media.
Practices reading and writing
Many parents and teachers are finding that Minecraft is a way to encourage children to practice their reading and writing skills. Some Minecraft servers require players to use a text-based chat, requiring children to read and write to communicate with others.
Some children find themselves curious about the real-life elements of the game, such as the gems, that they are interested in researching and learning more. And other children find themselves curious about how to advance in the game and turn to available resources to look up tips.
…and other skills as well
Along with reading and writing, there are many other skills that children can practice while they’re playing. For example, those that want to customize skins, blocks, and other objects have to learn Java to code.
Resource management is another skill that children have to learn, to effectively use the items they’re given to craft within the game. Some children that host servers are even developing some business skills as they have to maintain the server and support the people playing on it.
Allows freedom to explore
While some video games have specific tasks and goals that need to be completed (which can frustrate some children), Minecraft encourages children to explore and learn at their own pace. Even the youngest of children can freely roam the virtual 3D world.
However, there are some smaller challenges within the game, especially for those playing in survival mode who have to build shelter and protect themselves against mobs. The fact that children can choose between creative mode and survival mode allows them to have freedom over how they play.
Available to many
The problem with some video games is that they’re only available on specific platforms. This can make it hard for some children to fit in socially, especially if they’re unable to afford a specific platform to play a game.
Minecraft, however, is available on every major gaming device, which allows more children to have access to the game and experience playing the game. There are even Minecraft apps available to children who may only have access to a phone or a tablet instead of a gaming device.
So, next time you’re surprised that Minecraft is still around, just remember how beneficial it is to children of all ages! From preschoolers that just want to play a video game but aren’t yet ready to play a linear game to high schoolers that have an interest in learning how to code, Minecraft has something for everyone.