Is Minecraft safe for kids

There is no doubt that Minecraft is taking over the world!  Okay, maybe not quite so dramatically, but for a lot of young kids, playing Minecraft is a big part of their world.  Obviously, some kids have become obsessed with playing Minecraft, and it can be a little concerning for parents to deal with kids who have a Minecraft obsession.

Is Minecraft safe for kids to play?

If your kids are not already familiar with Minecraft, then you should be prepared for the fact that they probably will be.  With such a worldwide following for Minecraft, there is no escaping from it.  All kids just love to play it, and with friends, siblings and even schools getting in on the trend, playing Minecraft is simply inevitable.

Minecraft can be used for game based learning

Because Minecraft is so popular, there seems to be little point in resisting.  Even schools are using game based learning as a tool to develop kids imaginations and creativity skills.  And that is where Minecraft comes in.  Schools realise that Minecraft represents an ideal platform for creativity, independent thought, and imagination.  There is even a school based version of the Minecraft games which has been developed especially for use in the classroom.  So don’t be alarmed if your child comes home from school with stories about playing Minecraft.  It may well be a perfectly legitimate use of a game based learning tool which is taking over the world!

So is Minecraft safe for kids to play?

Clearly, there are millions of kids around the world who have an obsession with playing Minecraft, so this could be viewed as both good and bad.  The terms and conditions according to Minecraft suggest that children need to be over 13 years of age to play.  Nobody I know seems to worry about those guidelines, which have been written because of US privacy laws.  It is reasonable for parents of under 13 year old children to sign permission for their child to play Minecraft.

Is Minecraft age appropriate for young kids?

The key to keeping Minecraft age appropriate for young kids is the selection of the mode.  For example, in survival mode, there are monsters that roam around, which can cause distress for young kids.  For young kids, simply deselect survival mode, and they can build, create, design and grow as much as they like.  There is no doubt that some of the more advanced features can be a bit overwhelming for some kids.  But there is no need for the distressing parts of the game interfere with the enjoyment of creativity and imagination that kids can get from Minecraft.

Parental supervision

As with any digital activity, there is the potential for interaction with other people.  Parental supervision is always required to ensure that this is either disallowed, or controlled within the acceptable limits.  As a parent, you may need to satisfy yourself that the account has been set up properly.  You can control the email address for sign up , and keep a record of the logins.  You should also decide which settings are appropriate for your child, such as permission to play in single player mode, or multi player.  If you allow multi layer mode, then you need to ensure that your child receives appropriate counseling about the risks of being approached by an online predator.  Your children need to know that if emotions are getting out of control, then the parent has the ultimate say about the rules.

Minecraft has safe modes for children to play

The good thing about Minecraft for younger children is that there are safe modes which may be more appropriate according to the age of the child.  For example, you can restrict involvement to single player mode, with no chance of outside interaction.  You can disallow the chat feature so that no unwanted conversations can occur.  And to stop the nasty monsters from creeping up on children, you can select creative mode, which allows kids to play in a relaxed and non-stressed environment.  The whole purpose of playing Minecraft should be to encourage their creativity, and the imagination to develop their building skills.

What other Minecraft content is there?

Because Minecraft is such a global behemoth, there is a whole host of supporting Minecraft material.  From YouTube, to online forums and even books about Minecraft.  There is simply no way that kids can avoid learning about Minecraft, including the school yard and the classroom.  There are a host of safe YouTube channels for kids to watch, and they just seem to love listening to the adventures of Stampy as he self commentates his way around his own virtual world.  Beware there are some less than wholesome characters out there, so be sure to supervise your kids behaviour whenever they are online.

Minecraft is safe for kids

At the end of the day Minecraft is safe for kids.  There is no escaping it, because Minecraft is taking over the world.  As parents, we need to embrace the positive aspects of kids playing Minecraft, and allow them to develop their creative talents.  But we still need to manage kids with a Minecraft obsession!  Even schools are jumping on the bandwagon, and encouraging the use of game based learning.  As parents, we need to make sure the settings and permissions are age appropriate, and to supervise our kids while they play Minecraft!

Read more at our blog at ImagiPlay.

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Is Minecraft safe for kids
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