A Parental Guide to Minecraft

Minecraft Featured Ecran Partage

Popular with children and adults of all ages, Minecraft holds the record for the most purchased video game of all time. This article provides answers to the most common questions parents have about this game.

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a sandbox video game that includes elements of adventure, exploration, simulation, construction and survival. The expression “sandbox” here means that it is a game that has no fixed objective, which therefore offers endless possibilities and gaming experiences. Players can then let their imagination run wild to build, explore and engage in activities such as animal husbandry, fishing or farming.

This game is recognizable by its cube graphics: from building blocks to characters and animals to plants, everything is cubic. It is a game that does not come with a built-in tutorial, but it is quite simple to understand and allows you to learn empirically, through exploration and experience. There are many fan-made resources that explain the features of the game and give tips.

For more information about Minecraft, see the article Test: Minecraft explained to parents.

How to play Minecraft?

When you open Minecraft, you start by creating a world and naming it. You then decide the general parameters of the world and its biomes are generated automatically. As soon as the world is loaded, your character appears and you are free to explore as you please.

Our advice is to start by getting wood to build a workbench, a few sticks, then a pickaxe. It is with the pickaxe that you can mine rock, some coal to craft torches and iron to build useful tools. With a pickaxe in hand, you can more easily build a house to shelter from the weather and hostile creatures that come out at night.

For the rest, let your imagination run wild!

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Get started in Minecraft with a workbench, a pickaxe and a few torches.

What are the different game modes of Minecraft?

Minecraft can be played in several modes and difficulties. The mode and difficulty of each world created are independent. They can be determined to create the world and changed at any time during the game.

The creative mode gives access to all the resources to build structures with infinite resources. Survival mode is the default mode of the game. It allows you to experience the aspects of exploration, adventure and resource harvesting in addition to construction. In Hardcore mode, the death of a player character is final for the selected world, which adds a much greater challenge.

The peaceful difficulty allows you to explore your Minecraft world without having to fight against hostile creatures. The easy difficulty allows the appearance of hostile creatures, but the damage done to player characters is reduced. The game defaults to normal difficulty. If you select the difficult difficulty, the damage done to player characters is increased.

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Explore in Minecraft.

What is the appropriate age to play Minecraft?

Minecraft is rated 10+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)[1]. There seems to be a consensus, however, that it is an appropriate game for children over 7-8 years old.

How much does Minecraft cost?

Minecraft is not a free-to-play game, but the cost varies by platform. If you want to play it on a computer, the cost is about $30. Prices on consoles and mobile (Android and iOS) vary. It is possible to download a free demo to try the game before purchasing. There is the possibility to purchase additional content (character appearances, worlds, texture packs, behavior packages for enemies, etc.) via the marketplace. The additional content is very optional.

Is it a violent game?

In creative mode, there is no violence, because the hostile creatures you may encounter there do not attack the characters. In peaceful difficulty, there is no violence unless it is done by the player character.

However, if you select the other difficulty levels, the player character will be attacked by hostile creatures and will have to defend themselves, often by killing them. It is possible for the player character to attack any creature, whether hostile (a skeleton, for example) or peaceful (a villager or a sheep, for example). In a multiplayer world, players can collaborate as well as compete against each other.

The cubic aspect of the game reduces the visual impact of the violence, as it is neither graphic nor realistic.

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Hostile creatures in Minecraft.

Is it an educational game?

A game such as Minecraft can have great educational value, as it encourages children to develop their creativity, empiricism (via exploration) and resourcefulness (via survival aspects). Children may also find themselves in situations that stimulate their problem-solving skills, geometry and collaboration skills.

However, the extent of the educational value of a game depends in part on the support the child receives. That’s why we advise you to keep an eye on your child’s use of Minecraft and ask reflective questions about their actions such as: “How did you build this? How do you feel when you do this? What are you trying to build? »

Mojang Studios has also developed a version of Minecraft focused on the educational aspect: Minecraft Education.

Can I play cross-platform?

Yes. It is possible to play with other people on PC, consoles and mobile.

Is Minecraft safe?

Minecraft is a very safe game. If you play alone, there is no possibility of interaction with other individuals. If you play in creative mode and in peaceful difficulty, there is no interaction, conflict or violence.

However, Minecraft is a game that is played well with many. Joining a public server brings some risks since it also means the possibility of unpredictable interactions with other people. There are people of all ages who play Minecraft. Many servers and communities have moderators who welcome and mentor players, but other people’s actions and words cannot be controlled.

To avoid the risk of exposing your child to the words and actions of strangers, we advise you to create your own private server or join the private server of a trusted person.

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Players can communicate with the chat.

What is a server?

A server is a feature that allows players to create and organize multiplayer games. To join another person’s party, you must either know the exact name of the server or receive a direct invitation from the host. Anyone can create a server, but it requires a bit of technical configuration and the host is responsible for the game environment in which the invited people live.

There are public servers open to everyone, some with a particular theme or target community.

Can children play with their friends?

Yes. On PC and mobile, this is done by creating a server and inviting friends or joining a friend’s server. On console, you need to know the ID ( gamertag) of the friend your child wants to play with to add them to your current game.

Is it possible to chat with strangers on Minecraft?

If you’re playing multiplayer on a public server, you can chat with unknown people via built-in chat. To avoid this, you can create a private server or join the private server of someone you know well. It is also possible to create local parties and control who joins them.

Are there predators on Minecraft?

There is always the possibility of a malicious individual sneaking into a public server, especially if moderator monitoring is minimal. That is why it is advisable that children play on private servers and do not join public servers randomly. If, despite everything, an individual seems problematic, Minecraft allows you to block other players and report a person with inappropriate behavior.

We advise you to take a look at all of your child’s game settings, especially if you allow them to join public servers.

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A village in Minecraft

What is a mod?

A Minecraft mod can be downloaded to add or modify elements of the base game. A mod can include different themes, character skins, additional resources, and varied textures for existing blocks. There are thousands of mods, but be careful when downloading a mod, as not all sites that offer them are safe. It is advisable to buy and download mods only from secure and endorsed sites by the game, you will find them in the Market section of the main menu and on the Microsoft.com site.

Why do kids watch people play Minecraft on Youtube?

There are many reasons why young and old alike love to watch other people play Minecraft. Sometimes it’s for an educational purpose: find a tutorial, get game tips, or learn how to build a particular build. Often, it’s for entertainment purposes: to enjoy more advanced gaming techniques, be part of a community, or follow the adventures of an internet celebrity. Watching other people play video games is an activity comparable to watching sports competitions or performing arts.

Can kids get addicted to Minecraft?

As with any game, it is possible for children to absorb themselves in it and not see the time pass when they play it. However, the presence of addiction is not due solely to the nature of the object of dependence, but can be caused by various factors. It is advisable that parents take responsibility for monitoring and regulating their children’s use of any media, including Minecraft.

To prevent your child from overplaying, you can discuss their play time with them and set time windows for them to play, and encourage them to diversify their play activities.

[1] Minecraft games, rated by the ESRB