In this digital age, there is no shortage of games and online spaces that are unsuitable for children, but is Minecraft one of them? We do not believe so. Today we will go over Minecraft singleplayer and multiplayer while sharing our opinion along the way. But first, let us start with a short explanation of the game itself.
Minecraft takes place in a randomly generated world with a variety of monsters and animals. Combat is included in Minecraft, but the gameplay focuses on exploration and creativity. My favorite quote having always been, “Minecraft is a game which allows a child’s imagination to come to life.”
For parents unfamiliar with Minecraft, it is easiest to think of it as a game where one can build whatever they desire using various square blocks. Like Lego or Mega Blocks if they were in a virtual space that went on forever.
If mainly concerned about violence, we can happily say combat is very basic showing no blood or realistic damage of any kind. Death, for example, is always limited to the creature poofing away in a cloud of smoke leaving some items behind.
However, there are two main ways to play Minecraft, which we will cover below.
Minecraft singleplayer allows for a controlled space where your child can play without the risk of running into real people. If playing survival, they will spend their time gathering resources, building, and defeating monsters that come out at night.
The monsters themselves are simple in appearance but can still be a bit scary for younger children. If they are undesired, selecting peaceful as the world’s difficulty removes them entirely. For an example of monsters, Minecraft’s famous “Creeper” is the green fellow found above.
Creative is another option for singleplayer that some may prefer. It removes the game’s survival and resource-gathering aspects allowing the user to build as much as they would like. Creative is often our recommendation for younger children.
But what does one do when a child wants to play Minecraft with friends? We continue with multiplayer below.
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Minecraft offers multiplayer through the form of public servers. Servers can be owned by anyone, and more importantly, anyone can join them. With text chats existing, this leaves mean, hurtful, or vulgar interactions as very real possibilities.
There are also many servers out there that attempt to sell virtual currencies to their players. Those with experience in mobile phone games may be familiar with buying “coins” or “gems” for benefits. It follows the same general concept except Apple is not there to refund any charges.
For kids seeking an online experience, we would instead recommend a private Minecraft server. This allows a parent or guardian to have complete control over their child’s online experience. A popular example of this is a handy and built-in tool called whitelist.
After activating whitelist, only those added to the whitelist will be able to join ensuring a safe environment for friends and family. Private Minecraft servers also offer tools called plugins. An example being Core Protect which undoes damage to the Minecraft server.
That may not seem necessary at first glance, but it is not uncommon for players to break other players’ creations in the heat of the moment. Especially if one of those players is a mischievous sibling. We highly recommend including Core Protect to prevent tears and fights from hard work being lost forever.
Minecraft is not only safe for children but an excellent way for them to share and express their creativity.
Singleplayer offers a safe and fun option for any child’s screentime. Multiplayer, when in a private and whitelisted Minecraft server, provides the same but includes the social aspects of spending time with friends and family. We personally recommend trying Minecraft yourself should the server route be taken. Who knows, it may just end up your favorite way to spend screentime too.
Until next time,