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 and made of different materials, such as wood or earth. These materials must be collected. In different game levels or so-called modes, these dice are used differently:
In creative mode, players combine these cubes and use them to build tools, armor, or even houses. 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.
In survival mode, thanks to the tools, players can fight monsters and hide at night in the hut they built themselves.
Minecraft can be played online and simultaneously with others, but also offline alone.
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.
You can also explore Minecraft with virtual reality goggles and really immerse yourself in your own world.
Even though the game is recommended for ages six and up, it all depends on the game mode you choose: While Creative and Adventure modes are relatively harmless, Survival and Hardcore modes are more on the attack. Nothing is explained in the game and the basic game mechanics can still overwhelm younger children in particular. 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.
An investigation by Stiftung Warentest criticized the fact that Minecraft does not have a help section and that the incentives for in-app purchases are large.
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 when playing in the beginning and should rather be in creative or adventure mode. For older children, survival or hardcore mode may be considered 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.