Minecraft is an adventure video game where players can create and explore a blocky three-dimensional world. Since the world is procedurally generated (created with an algorithm), the terrain is virtually infinite terrain and players can craft all types of tools, items, and structures from raw materials. Minecraft is not free to play, but there are knock-off, fake versions that advertise themselves as free on a web browser. With varying levels of difficulty, the game has four main modes: Adventure, Survival, Creative, and Spectator. In Survival mode, players must manage their health stats while finding food, building protective structures, and battling hostile mobs of spiders, zombies, and other hostile creatures. Adventure mode is similar to Survival mode, but it enables users to play on downloadable game maps (created by other users) with limited abilities determined by the designer. In Creative mode, players have access to all resources needed to build without limits and they don’t have to worry about dying or battling mobs. Spectator mode allows players to view worlds freely without interacting with it. Minecraft can be played alone or with online players, and the game is cross-platform—allowing people to play with one another regardless of their operating system.
Minecraft has capabilities of connecting with strangers from around the world.
- Potential to introduce children to online predators.
- Young people may be exposed to hate speech, cyberbullying, harassment, and profanity.
- Bloody (not gory) battles, sexual scenarios, and other adult content may be created by users online.
Many children enjoy watching others play Minecraft on streaming platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Facebook Live and Discord.
- These platforms have different levels of moderation and monitoring, which can potentially expose children to inappropriate content.
One recommended way to reduce the possibility of exposure to inappropriate content is for children to join a “realm” or invitation-only personal Minecraft server. This allows up to 10 players to play in a game created by someone they know. Parents can also create their own server to monitor who is allowed to play the game with their children. Parents may also research and find an established server with very good moderators to help keep the game age-appropriate and fun. Single-player Creative mode on the Peaceful setting is the safest way to play the game because there is no interaction with other users and no conflict. Minecraft also allows users to mute, block, and report players for inappropriate behavior. If your child enjoys watching other people play Minecraft on video game streaming platforms, parents can research those streamers and monitor the servers they play on to see if the content is age-appropriate. For more information about video game streaming platforms, visit our other posts in the Dangers of Communicating Online blog series.
Want To Learn More?
For more information about this game, check out Common Sense Media’s Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Minecraft. For more information about parental controls, Minecraft provides step-by-step instructions on their website. In addition to the sources listed below, parents can read FamiSafe’s Should Parents Let Kids Play Minecraft and Watch Minecraft Videos article and FamiSafe’s Parental Review.