Minecraft is a kind of Lego for the computer or tablet, where you can create your own world from virtual blocks with a lot of creativity and skill.
The game world in Minecraft consists mainly of cubes or blocks. These are always the same size, but is procedurally generated and thus looks different in each run. The world in Minecraft is made of different materials, for example, wood or earth. In different modes, these cubes are used differently:
In creative mode, players combine these cubes and build houses, models, or even working computers. In this way, they create their very own world, which they shape creatively and change constantly. This function is now even used by schools for learning. The materials used do not have to be collected, they are directly available to the players and can be used infinitely.
In survival mode, thanks to the tools, players can fight monsters and hide at night in the hut they built themselves. The big difference to the creative mode here is that the materials have to be collected by yourself and additionally a hunger bar and life bar have to be managed. Also, many of the items, such as chests, swords, doors, stoves, etc. must first be made. The level of difficulty can be adjusted so that there is something for every age group. This can be adjusted at any time in the game menu.
Minecraft can be played online with others, or offline alone. The current version of the game is 1.20.1.
Despite the simple graphics, which consist only of large pixels, Minecraft is very popular among children from about ten years old. Minecraft sets no limits to creativity. Players can create their very own virtual world and get excited about constructing landscapes and buildings and acquiring the raw materials they need. Playing with others especially challenges competition and strategy, but creating worlds together can also be a lot of fun and requires that you coordinate with each other.
Minecraft is released by the USK from the age of six. How well children cope with the game depends, among other things, on the game mode they choose: While Creative and Adventure modes are easy to handle, Survival and Hardcore modes are more about defense and survival. Here you have to overcome obstacles such as encountering monsters, which brings a certain tension.
Since the game doesn’t set its own limits, e.g. through different levels, it tempts you to play endlessly and lose yourself completely in the virtual world. Also, the control of the game can be difficult for inexperienced.
Minecraft offers in-app purchases, e.g. via the “Minecraft Marketplace”, the “Minecraft Marketplace”. This is a platform where gamers can buy skins, mini-games and other content. One popular offering is PvP maps, where players compete against each other in game worlds according to the “player vs. player” principle. Such paid elements are appealing to kids and teens because they enhance the gaming experience.
Some paid offers are unsuitable for younger children, for example, the “Scary Mods”, which makes the game environment more exciting with creepy creatures, gloomy environments, eerie sounds and events.
Minecraft belongs to Microsoft. Auf der Webseite gibt es die Datenschutzerklärung und Nutzungsbedingungen auf Deutsch. Data is processed and used for product improvement and may also be shared.
The game is designed to encourage creativity and problem-solving skills. In Sweden, it’s even on the curriculum. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind as a parent:
Younger children should be accompanied while playing in the beginning and should rather use the creative mode or easier difficulty levels of the survival mode. For older children, the hardcore mode may come into question later.
As always with media use, keep an eye on how much time your child spends playing. Make sure to adhere to set media use times and discuss together as a family which modes your child is allowed to play. Make sure the content is age-appropriate and control what content your child is allowed to purchase and use. Some offers in the “marketplace” are not suitable for younger children.
Players can communicate with each other in Minecraft using the chat function. In the process, children are exposed to communication risks such as conflicts, cyberbullying, but also cybergrooming. Talk to your child about being respectful in chat, encourage them to block and report inappropriate messages. This way, your child can protect themselves from harassment. Explain to your child that he or she should not disclose personal information such as name and address in the chat.
Using the Parental Control feature of a Microsoft account, communication functions can be restricted to friends only or disabled completely. Access to in-game purchases can also be controlled via the control function.
The game was tested for accessibility as part of the Gaming without Borders project. In the areas of comprehension, control and hearing, Minecraft already does a lot right in terms of accessibility, according to the test results. The game is quite suitable for children and young people with impairments. However, some hurdles were identified in the “vision” area, making it difficult for people with visual impairments to use. However, Mojang as a developer studio is also interested and working to build accessibility.