You hear your child talking about Minecraft all the time. And you have no idea what he means. What is the big deal anyway? Do you really need to know what Minecraft is and how it works? Well, any time that Microsoft spends $2.5 billion to acquire the rights to the game your child will probably be playing, it makes sense to pay attention. Here is what Minecraft is all about.
A video game from the Mojang gaming studio, Minecraft is what is called a sandbox game. That simply means that there are no real objectives or plots involved. Just like your toddlers play freely in a sandbox, your older children can pretty much make up their own rules in Minecraft. And it is all based on a building block format.
When the sun rises on a typical day in this virtual video game world, materials are dug up from the ground (you “mine” first, and then “craft” your creations in block form). Those blocks are then used to create just about any type of 3D object. Your child’s imagination and creativity are uniquely developed in a way that makes sense to him.
Kids have created literally everything, from complex working computers to simple villages, animals and houses. And there are plenty of different habitats and terrains to explore.
Imagine LEGO blocks in digital form. That is probably the best description of Minecraft that there is. However, unlike the physical LEGO building blocks and the worlds you can create with them, Minecraft is populated by monsters that like to roam around at night, sometimes destroying your child’s handiwork.
More than 50 million copies have been sold on PC, mobile and console platforms. Minecraft conventions for young and old alike have sprung up. A Minecraft Opera and movie deal are also in the works.
It pays to know what games your child is playing. The good news is that Minecraft has very little downside. It does not get your child as physically active as outdoor games, but it does spark your child’s mental development and sense of individuality. Kids can create literally anything they dream up, and this drives home the point to your children that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.
The next time your child sits down for some Minecraft, ask them to explain it to you and get involved. There are plenty of adults that enjoyed the LEGO block building pastime when they were children, and now those same joys can be experienced with the Minecraft video game.
LEGO Minecraft The Cave Review