Should Kids Play Minecraft?

Should Kids Play Minecraft?

Minecraft Dangers

Yes!

But with supervision and with some caveats.

Firstly I have to say I’m NOT a Minecraft player, however I’ve just had a play on it with my own kids on their own server… (so I’m really only saying this as a mum looking over my teens shoulders)…My two boys and their freinds are players, they are on it all the time, when they are allowed to play computer games that is…we have rules for game times. The pic above is taken by one of my sons friends.

For those people out there who don’t know what Minecraft is…Imagine online Lego with friends, but, you are the size of the little Lego people and you can build together, explore together, and fight off creepers and zombies, and have pigs and dogs ect. Fun yes! Most of the players time is spent mining things to build, making things to eat, and building cool things, houses, mazes ect…my kids have a sort of large frat house, they are going to build me my own room, but what I really want is to change my avatar into something a bit more girly….no hope there yet, I have to work harder to get the right gear to do that… ๐Ÿ™

Before they discovered minecraft, my kids spent most of their gaming time playing Halo Reach and other games many of which are shoot-em-up games or space ship fighting games. They were playing them creatively making up stories, filming them ect…but I hoped one day they might try something more inventive and less violent!

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See A More Recent Post “A Parents Guide To Minecraft

 

Minecraft 2012Minecraft can be a MMOG (massively Multiplayer Online Game) meaning you can play with other players online. But you CAN have your own place (Server) that is “invite-only”, or play by yourself. The same rules should apply for any MMO’s that your kids play, there are adults that play this game also, so you do have to be careful, you need to supervise, and you need to educate your kids NOT to make freinds with grown-ups, I wouldn’t suggest under 13yr olds play it unless it is with a supervising adult or on a private server or as a Single Player.

But as far as safety goes, this game is very much PG. There is no blood shed, unless you count a pig being turned into a porkchop…you don’t see slaughter ect…there are no guns YAY and only minor sword, bow and arrow combat, most of the time people playing Minecraft are just building things and playing in them. You will hear things like “Hey I chucked you some mushroom soup”, “I have wheat now”…”Oh look some lead” or something…”I’m mining some gold!”…much better than hearing kill that guy! KILL KILL, well except for a few creepers, and spider’s and you will want to avoid them or kill those…Yes you can kill each other but its not blood thirsty, and friends don’t do that cause it takes a long time to build your health back up again…(re-spawn)

There are greifers….people who go around trying to destroy your stuff, but if you have a private map thats not going to happen. And the game moderators are pretty much on top of any bad behaviour.

This game is great for creativity, for fun, for team work, for challenges and collaboration. My kids only play with people they know, and only sometimes go out onto the public grids. They love it! The things they can make are anything from houses, to castles, to huge statues, roads, anything that can be made of blocks basically with lots of ways to make their constructions unique.

Setting up your own private server for the kids to play on is no easy task so don’t attempt it unless you are a fully paid up Geek! Thanks go to my Twitter geek freinds who were able to assist my son in being able to set his up. Its not an expensive game costs about 20EU to download.

Also a note: Any server that has PVP as a description means Player Verses Player and they might get attacked.

Do you or your kids play Minecraft? What do you think?

From the Website “Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, make sure to build a shelter before that happens. It also has music by C418! So far 8,483,717 people have registered and 2,331,652 people bought the game”

Here’s a link to setting up a private server where you can white list (or allow only friends) This comes with warnings, if you aren’t a cyber savvy parent or child…follow instructions at own risk!

See A More Recent Post “A Parents Guide To Minecraft

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  • My kids have been playing it for several months now and love it. I agree it does seem better to have them playing a game where they work together to build things rather than just kill stuff. I like that they have to figure out what and how many materials they need to make certain things. So there seems to be some analysis, thought and planning required. There is also creativity – I am always surprised to see what they build. Also, it seems to provide them an introduction into setting up and accessing a server. The only downside I have seen is that they love to watch YouTube videos to learn how to do things in Minecraft, but most seem to be made by older kids who use terrible language for 8 and 10 year olds to hear. So I have to always tell them not to watch those type videos which is unfortunate because other than the bad language, they are well done and helpful.

    • Mike

      Youtubers have mostly used vulgar language because the majority of people who play minecraft are 13-21 year olds

  • Hi Pam thanks for the comment, you can activate safety mode on YouTube, but unless people rank their own video with swearing within ect…it might now work…but it might help…try setting this up http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&answer=174084 and let me know how you go, Im interested to see if it works!

  • jokay

    We are running a Minecraft community for 4 – 16yos and their mums and dads, and I have to say the learning outcomes around digital citizenship, teamwork, design and problem-solving are quite astounding. Additionally, we are seeing many kids developing literacy and numeracy skills via play in this awesum space. It’s the standout virtual space for kids in my opinion and we are very excited about the possibilities.

    For more info on our projects check out Massively Minecraft (our teacher/research space) @ http://socialmediaclassroom.com/host/MassivelyMinecraft/ and the jokaydia Minecrafts Blog @ http://minecraft.jokaydia.com/.

  • My 8 year old son started playing Minecraft about 4 months ago. He became obsessed with it to a point that I had to completely block it from our computer. Yes, it’s a very creative game and relatively kid friendly, but when your kid loses interest in everything else and talks about nothing but Minecraft from dawn ’til dusk, you have to step in. There are also these “mods” available that look cool enough, but are impossible to download and appear to have unsafe programming.

    • Hi Dean thanks for your comment, I think 8yrs old is probably too young to play on Minecraft unless he was on a private server. There are adults on the public servers. As regards the addiction as an educator what I would suggest to parents in your situation is that you need to start setting up a time table for his gaming or computer use, rather than just banning it. I know it can be a bit of a battle, so after a lot of trial and error, what seems to work for most, is giving your child a set time to be on the computer, and if they won’t get off, (or they react badly), start deducting the time from the next time they are allowed to be on it, start the next slot later according to how long they go over the log off time. Having the same computer time more or less every day or weekend is the key, make it simple and write it up so everyone can be reminded about what those times are.

      For e.g For my boys there is no gaming at all during the week when its school term. Then weekends only to 11am, (I’m considering reducing this actually…) then after 3pm. Consistency is the key, and this sets them up for better habits and more compliance when they get older, my oldest is 15yrs the youngest 12yrs. They do try to push the boundaries, but when it comes to 3pm and they can’t get on for 1/2 hour (if they have pushed the limits)…that little inconvenience really makes them think twice next time they want to push it. Little inconveniences really make a difference to kids. and yes the Mods can be a problem.I wish you all the best with your young son ๐Ÿ™‚

    • SW

      Dean, I am having the same issue with my 10 year old. He would play all day if he could and when we force him off, Minecraft is still all he wants to talk about. Even taking him to an amusement park or pool doesn’t take his mind off it. He just keeps asking to go home so he can get back to the game. It is very concerning.

      • SW thanks for your comment, kids do get a bit obsessed with it but in my experience they do get over it. Some kids get more obsessed than others of course in general about many things, it’s up to us as parents to make sure all our children’s experiences are healthy and balanced, whether its the latest toy, film, game or book.

        One of my son has Aspergers, he definitely falls into the obsessive mould, its part of his diagnosis, I find if I just keep to the time table we have set, and not worry too much about it, his obsessions do balance out eventually where other games and activities do get a look in.

        Be sure if your 10 year old is playing minecraft he is not playing on public servers. They are for adults and teens, 10yrs old is a bit young to be playing online games that is open to adults. Club penguin is only for kids, and is much better moderated.

        Best wishes to you

    • John Rogers

      My son plays the game and I have found mods to be very easy to install! The programming isn’t unsafe whatsoever.

  • Robin

    My son plays on Minecraft, but I recently removed him from the main server because he’s learned more words on there than Hollywood would even repeat in a movie. I was totally disgusted when he came asking what this/that means and blushed to my scalp all the while.

    • Thanks for your comment Robin. I don’t know how old your son is, yes parents do need to be aware that the main server is all ages. So if you are not comfortable with your child playing online amongst adults and older teens, then you need to encourage them to have their own server or to play single player only.

      I don’t think enough parents are aware of how Minecraft works. Before you allow your child to play any computer game parents need to find out about it, and be sure it is suitable for their child. My son’s have set up their own private server for themselves and their friends.

      Although Minecraft doesn’t have an age limit, it can be played as an online multiplayer game, and most online multiplayer games are for kids over 15years of age…for a good reason.

      Robin I hope your son has now a safe place to play.

  • kim

    Hello, my 8 yr old son is wanting to play MineCraft so ( as I am not into computers) told him to google it, he found the youTube clips ,well what can I say lots of swearing F*!** this etc etc so have a bit of a bad taste for minecraft, I am aware thats not the real MineCraft was wanting to find out what I need to know before I buy it ….” All my friends have it”now i have had a bit of a look i am wanting to know if he plays is this single server the way to go or can I block people if there is swearing on the multi-server?

  • Hi Kim, at 8 years old he should either play single player, or only be on a private Server. He is far too young for the public servers. Some kids are clever enough to set up private servers, but be sure that they are only inviting players their own age that they know in real life. This will take some supervision on your part, you might be best sitting with him whilst he plays so that you know what its all about. I actually made an account for myself and got my boys to show me around so I knew how it worked.
    Let me know how you go.

  • Hi Bill thanks for the comment. None of the public servers will be 100% child friendly as they are Public servers.

    One solution is to play Minecraft with only people at the same I.P address (e.g at your home) You can then be on different computers, but play on same LAN server. To do this One person start up as a single player create a new world or go to one you have already set up. Then click esc when you have logged in, and select open to Lan from the menu. The others then go on Minecraft as multi player and it should automatically find the existing Lan server and they can join the “single” player.

    Another option which is only for someone comfortable with their computer and modem settings is to set up your own private server. You can set this server to be accessed via invite only. The instructions from Minecrafts own Wikki are here http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server My son managed to set one up a few years back when he was 13yrs old.

    One other option is if your son and his friend’s have an Xbox you can get Minecraft for Xbox you can only play invite only on Xbox anyway with friends you have on Xbox up to 8 players with Microsoft Gold points. http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Xbox_360_Edition
    Purchase the game from XBox live marketplace.

    Minecraft is not yet available on any other game console yet. My boys said that Minecraft on the iPhone sucks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Let me know how you go!

  • rosy woods

    my kid plays on minecraft when ever he can, and he is 13. he only learned a few offensive words,n**** ,w****,and f*****.He says he wanted to *fit in with the other kids* who he went to school with.He,when saying these words,said he was very mad at his friends for doing something to his house or something it took him so long to build, a very tall waterslide .i think a private server is best,with only friends and family. hope i helped. if your child is under 10 dont let him/her go on public servers.

  • Stacy

    i don’t know.. i get kind of creeped out watching somebody build things to destroy them, i.e. hiding TNT in places and then watching things blow up. some things seem harmless. got a little freaked out yesterday when the date on a post blow up thing showed as 9/11. Maybe I’m senstive to the freaky stuff going on, but left me a bit uneasy.

    • Thanks for your comment Stacy, the solution is to play as single player or on a private server then you have control over what happens. Creative mode is great!

  • Bilbo Baggins

    Go to http://www.muttsworldmine.com for a nice safe family friendly group of servers.

  • Upset Parent

    My daughter is addicted to minecraft. Happy!? I cannot get my 6th grader off minecraft. She is on it when she wakes up, back on it the second she gets home from being out till bedtime. She skypes with friends. She does not read on her own anymore. She does not play sports anymore. it has consumed her life. I find myself yelling at her to get off it and to do something else. It is ruining my relationship with my daughter.

    • Dear Upset Parent. I sympathise with how hard it is sometimes for us as parents to get our kids to do what is best for them. Your challenge is to restrict her use. My kids arn’t allowed to play games in the morning at all, or for that matter during the week. What works for one child won’t work for another. You need to find in your own way how to moderate her use. It’s easier to find solutions when they are young rather than later in life. Give rewards for good behaviour and take away the computer for when she is not complying. You will have a fight on your hands until she knows you mean business if you can be consistent every time. Been there done that…oldest son is 29! and had also quite an addiction to all sorts of games. Best of luck with it.

  • Jared the 13 yr old MC guy

    I play MC (minecraft) alot myself i am 13 years of age i hear what the parents are saying all servers are going to have terrible language but i knew what all of them were at the age of ten im not worried by it i know they are just being irresponsible. But i have one fairly safe server it is not played by more than 20 people at a time wich is good and mosst of the players are nice. and To the parents worried on the griefing front servers are generally made for “raiding” wich is stealing from another players base which you can do yourself to gain more stuff . THE SERVER IP IS : pvp.mcbrawl.com

    • Hi Jared thank you for your comment I think you’ve made a good point Jared. Parents need to understand how Minecraft works. Some raiding is ok. I still think its a shame that kids do have to deal with adults on Minecraft and have to put up with adult language. I think its safer to have your own server. One day maybe Minecraft will have kid servers I hope so, because its such a great game!

  • Bluey

    ADVICE: I really enjoy Minecraft in comparison to Halo Reach etc. At First It was a great for my son to play with his friends from school but somehow online a lot of them are jerks! I dont know if its bullying but its on the line imho. They invite people into their game just to tell them to “we dont like you”, “be gone”, “get out then kick them out. At school they act like theyre surprised my son isnt talking to them and try hard to be his friend just to do it again. He doesnt want to delete them ing it will make them even more bullyish to him at school…idk what to do. I feel soo bad

  • Jesse Wolfe

    Hello! I am an eleven year old boy in sixth grade. I started playing Minecraft in late 2010, and I recommended it to my friends. Now we all play, I run my own server which I am slowly easing into the public lists. My say on the issue of profanity in multiplayer servers is. Adults are everywhere, not all of them are mean or rude. But some are, and they’re everywhere. Not in schools or at home, but it’s a good example of what the real world can be like. Now, due to the fact that I started playing in 2010. I’ve grown very bored of this game after awhile. But when I do play, I play on public servers. I don’t mind the obscene language, I just ignore it. If you child is mature enough to handle it. I say, let them play the game, still keep an eye on them, and if the adults using the offensive language target your child. Then have him get off the server, but if they aren’t directly cussing at him. I think it’s okay.

    • Thankyou Jesse for your comment, that is very helpful. I do think kids having their own server is the best option.

  • Hi Bluey, unfortunately this scenario is far too familiar to me. Kids can be cruel, and it takes some time for kids to find friends to play with online that they will get along with. Kicking someone from a game is just another way of excluding kids and bullying. Creating your own server helps, then you can decide who to play with. Setting one up is not for the faint hearted
    Thankyou for your comment
    http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Server#Server_installation_and_configuration

  • Right now it appears like Drupal is the top blogging platform
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    • I’m using WordPress. Drupal is very popular for sure

  • I have to disagree with under 13 year olds shouldnt play on public servers, im 11 i go to a private school i england and frankly i think ive heard more sex referances and language then what gets used on minecraft, also i dont understand not making friends with adults?
    Minecraft is a game were people of all ages, sexes and races can be treated equely on projects.
    Adults arnt automaticly pedos because they play on games…
    I own a public server and i have no swear plugins as does every large server ive played on, i encourage my staff team to behave profesinaly and to not use any language not suitble for all ages and sexual roleplay is a perm ban

    • Hi Corporal, thankyou for your comment! You do sound like a very mature 11 year old for sure. I’m afraid not all kids are as mature as you though, and many kids do get sucked in by adults pretending to either be kids, or by adults pretending to be a good friend when all they want is to take advantage of them, maybe even meet them offline. You never really know what an adults intention is when you don’t really know them, it’s essential for kids to only play with other kids close to their own age online and offline! That includes older kids like Teens, who usually have much more mature lifestyles. As a mum I’d hate my 11yr old to be hearing about older teens more mature lifestyles, without me being there to filter or talk about it. Some public servers are safer than others, some are sort of designed for kids, but they don’t have any stricter moderators then on the adult sims from what I hear. Most kids hate being greifed, and I know it can happen quite a bit on some public servers. I’m glad to hear you are wanting to treat all players equally, but unfortunately not everyone will think the same. And yes you are right! Not all adults are “Pedos” because they play on games, I play on games, and I’m most certainly NOT a “Pedo”! Not playing with Adults when you are a child on online games is basic internet safety, and should be taken very seriously, which is why most online multi player games have an age limit. Minecraft does not, but it isn’t regulated by COPPA (google it). Please be careful, and don’t play with any kids older than around 13yrs of age, until you are older, it is far safer, and ultimately will be more fun. Swearing and Sexual play are not the only concerns.

  • Anonymous

    I have no idea why parents are so over-protective and pushy about their kids playing Minecraft. It’s a creative game, It also taught me various circuits through redstone. Don’t nag your child about profanity in public servers. After all, adults started it, and it’s unfair that adults should set up NetNanny and other programs like it against their children.

    • Parents are concerned about where their kids are going online and so they should be. It’s better to be sure you know the online environment is safe for your kids, and to be close by if your child needs help. There are both good and bad folks online,hard to tell which is which!

  • Ok i just googled COPPA, Privacy is the only word i needed.
    Its simple common sence not to give away details, howver thanks when i go on my tekkit server ill put keep real life details private as a rule…
    Also having read ^his response I have to agree,who cares if you meet a “bad folk” if he ennoys you just ignore him or troll him or something.
    Does it realy matter?
    Its pixels on a screen,

    • Hi Corporal, glad you googled it ๐Ÿ™‚ If you meet “bad folk” ignore and block is always the best, trolling them only gives them more ammunition to hit you back with, they live for a response! Don’t give it and they get bored and go try to Troll someone else. The problem is that “Bad Folk” can be a mature man pretending to be a kid, who then be friends someone not as savvy as you, and then the kid gets taken advantage of. The things that can go wrong when adults connect with children or even young Teens online is well documented. There have been many many cases of kids who have been hurt or killed in real life by someone they get stalked by or arrange to meet in real life, that they thought was the same age as them because they were online in an unmoderated adult community, Facebook being one of them. It’s simply just NOT worth the risk Corporal, if one child or Teen gets hurt or killed because kids are allowed to mix with adults. Stay safe Corporal, be sure to talk to your parents or another trusted adult if you need any help what so ever with the online world. Ask your parents to read this blog, see what they think? best wishes Leonie

  • “My kids arnโ€™t allowed to play games in the morning at all, or for that matter during the week.”
    Thats a little harsh?
    No offence

    • Different Families have different rules depending on the individual needs of their kids. Having already brought up 2 kids, who are now 29 and 27 and remembering how hard it was to get them off the computer or T.V just to get to school in the mornings, the no TV in the mornings rule just works. Also, Gaming during the week would deter my kids from going outside playing with friends, or doing homework. Where we live in Australia it’s beautiful weather and light right now till 8pm!!! not like England where its cold and dark ๐Ÿ™ Both my kids do pretty well at school and they still get to go online after school but just not gaming, which can get really addictive. That works for us.

  • Lol i wouldnt want to show my parents this blog, My dad is way to busy and my mum would go over protective like when my school handed out cyber safety leaflets.
    I do try and stay safe and i would never meet up with somebody i meat online in real.
    No games during the week wouldnt work for me because that would basicly ban me from games altogether. (Details = long story) and i dont go on games in morning anway because i never have time :S

    Play outside? i havnt done that for several years no jk excluding proper organised sport
    At break and lunch at scool i just walk around talking to friends etc. Also i get home from school at about 4.30 by the time im changed and had a snack about 5 and were i live itsl be dark by then and i live in a city and the only park near were i live is full of “cool” teens sitting on top of fences drinking and smoking. and a bout a 50% chanse of rain. YAY wait its also dark.
    Australia seems like a cool place to live.Ive never been out of europe though.

    Also to your point about facebook, i dont realy understand it. I never see weird things on facebook because i only add people i know irl as friends and i follow the posts of my fave utubers

    LOl your proba bly rather bored with me

    by the way have ur kids tryed a mod pack called the technic mod pack? Its basicly minecraft with computers, factorys, more things to mine, cooler things to make, tons more decoration blocks etc

    • No I’m not bored with you Corporal I think it’s great you reached out and told me your ideas. It’s important for me to understand how kids use games online, so I can help. I do hope that though you feel confident that if you ever got upset and needed help you could talk to one of your parents or even a school teacher you liked. I’ve seen some stories of kids online that thought that they might lose their internet if they told their parents that something went wrong. I’m sure that being as you are such a smart kid you wouldn’t worry about that and would get help. I forget sometimes that not everyone has the luxury of living in a nice neighbour hood with a place to hang out, I guess that means the computer is a nice place for you to play, and minecraft is a wonderful game, so much better than a first person shooter game…I know lots of kids love those but it’s better for your creativity to play minecraft. Do you know how to make your own Sim? My son made his own, and they love playing on it with their friends. Also I asked my son who is 13 about that Mod, and yes he has played it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sim?
    As in simulation game? Phone sim? Sims 3?

    • Cheeky ๐Ÿ™‚ I meant create your own World or Server…got my games mixed up ๐Ÿ™‚

  • It’s still me
    As I said earlier I have a tekkit server which is a minecraft mod pack ๐Ÿ™‚
    Can I create a world? That’s rather an odd question
    Btw the reason I have good grammar today is because my phone auto corrects.

  • Hi,
    Ive heard a rumor that in the next minecraft update setting up a server on your ow computer will be much easier as Mojang might me making an auto set up thing
    ^
    TheCorpoealCreeper aka Rory
    Is me, just on another device

    • That would be great for kids on Minecraft for sure

  • Sarah

    Hello,
    I have never written on things like this but I need some minecraft advice and when I email them they never answer.

    I am freaking out as my 8 yr old who has been obsessed with this for a few years has started to worry me.

    He always played single player until he was terrified by this herobrine rumour and through fear of something jumping out at him now plays on the server.

    He told me it was monitored, no swearing etc. and all was good. Now i’m feeling really stupid.

    He play in the same room as us but has got all sneaky about us seeing his screen.

    I received emails saying he has received private messages!! which I now see he has made a new email address and changed it so I cant see his messages.

    He thinks they are girls messaging him, but now i’m really worrying they are adults or a lot older or something. He sits there typing with a grin on his face and I have no way to monitor what they are saying.

    I’m sure I sound like a terrible parent and should just get rid and I am going to discuss this with him later, but he has Aspergers and this game is all he cares about (very sad that is). Im sure he will get over it though. I’m not sure he is mature enough although he thinks he is, to deal with and assess what is ok.

    Are there any safety measures I can take like ban private messages or the server that he cant unblock??

    advice please!! I actually feel really worried as I was pretty sure it was kids played this, not adults aswell!!

    • Hi Sarah thankyou for your comment and your questions. I understand your concern for your son, and I understand Aspergers my own son has Aspergers. Taking away something he loves is hard, when there seems to be so many great things about it. This is a looong answer but so was your question ๐Ÿ™‚

      8 years old is far too young to be playing an online game with adults. It’s illegal in just about all other games. Other online games have an age restriction of 13yrs min if there it is mixed with kids and adults and other online games that are more violent have 16 or 17yrs old restrictions. Minecraft is the the exception to the rule sadly.

      Minecraft is based in the Netherlands and as such is not regulated under COPPA as other games are. They have no requirement for an age restriction. So adults are on the public servers with kids.

      Some kids have no interest in playing with adults, and can be lucky that they never meet an adult who is pretending to be a child. But they do exist there, as they exist on many other online virtual world like games.

      Your 8 year old will be introduced to “adult” concepts if he continues to play with adults online. Worst case scenario is that he will be “groomed” by an adult pretending to be a child. This can lead to deception in so many ways. Including being coerced into doing sexual things in front of a webcam, or behaving in ways that you would consider immoral and dangerous to him.

      At 8 years old, it will be impossible for him to determine who is a real child and who is an adult, it’s so easy to disguise this, most players use text to communicate unless, as the previous poster said messaging is disabled, but many kids and adults start to use Skype to talk to each other during the game. And voice changing software is easy to use and commonly used in online virtual world type games, an adult can then sound like a child, yes I’ve witnessed this myself first hand experience!

      The safest place for your child to be is in single player mode or on his own server where he can only invite kids that he knows in real life (this has to be supervised). I believe this is the best policy for online safety with Minecraft. There is a link in the article to Minecraft to show how to set up your own private server where you can play with friends, but setting this up is not for the fainthearted.

      The fact that he is hiding his online game play from you is also concerning. If the pattern continues it could be dangerous for him. Kids need to be upfront and honest about where they go and who they meet online. And as in real life up until a certain age, they need to have your supervision to know who is a suitable friend.

      You are right to be concerned.

      Minecraft has moderators but they are often other kids. And there are no parental controls available on Minecraft. Other games like Club Penguin are far safer for children they are built with children in mind and are very restrictive.

      There a few things you can do. You can set up a parental controlled account on his computer for him, that bans Minecraft until you have worked out how to set up a server for him. I have instructions on this website how to use parental controls on a Mac, Windows have their own parental control system in control panel.

      You can insist he only play single player mode, and give him a consequence if he breaks the rule, banning the game or turning off the internet will do it.

      The most important thing is to start an open dialogue with your child NOW, no more hiding, no more secrets, if you see him hiding his screens, there’s a consequence. If he deletes his browser history = consequence. This issue you have with him is a combination of a behavioral issue, and an issue for you because you feel you don’t know enough about this game. It’s only the start! Every game he buys, you need to know what its about, and decide if you feel happy with him playing it. Every game other than Minecraft has a rating like movies do. I stick to those rules as much as I can. My 13yr old cannot purchase an M15+ game until he is 15yrs old, regardless of the fact that he watches his brother play them sometimes.

      Like everything else in life, your kids need to know there will always be limits on them if you don’t feel what they want to do is not appropriate, weather its watching an M15+ movie or going to the city by themselves. They may not be old enough to understand why they are restricted, and you can explain it to them, but bottom line is that it’s up to you as an adult to care for them and protect them.

      I’m not a child psychologist, but I’m speaking as a mum of 4 kids, aged 29yrs 27yrs 16yrs and 13yrs, with a long history on the internet.

      Lastly Play a game of minecraft with your child find out what he loves about it, play on a public server yourself, just as you would check out the parents and home of a new friend you need to check out where he goes online.

      Even my 16 year old gets told to get off a game if I feel it’s just too violent. And yes he grumbles, but he’s so used to my boundaries it’s only a grumble. Consistency is Key.
      I hope this helps you.

  • HEROBRINE

    Hi,
    Sarah you can contact the owner of the server or look into a differs t server for him which hasn’t got private messages etc.
    Also I think heroine was an exude to be aloud to play on a server. The HEROBRINE does not exist and people get a HEROBRINE e skin and pretend to be it

  • sarah

    Hello,
    I want to thank you for your detailed reply Leonie, I wish I had posted here a while ago and thanks ‘herobrine’ u have been very helpful.
    I feel stupid for not researching this before and assuming this was a kids game, anyway…..I’ve now banned this game and feel relieved about it. I will not be letting myself be fooled by a child anymore! I figured I was fairly young and slightely computer savvy but now realise I’m not! All games will now be vetted. I was happy with him to play this until he started playing on these servers. He says he wants to play again when 13! But hopefully he will have forgotten about this game by then!
    Thanks again

    • Hey Sarah don’t beat yourself up! Your’re new at this ๐Ÿ™‚ By the sounds of it you have a really bright boy and keeping one step ahead of him is not going to be easy:) Minecraft is an amazing game, I wish there was a version for under 13yr olds where they couldn’t get on to the public servers, maybe that will come! If he plays single player, he will be safe. As I say in the article it’s such a creative game and wonderful for kids. Supervision of our children on the Internet and computers is hard, it requires co operation from our kids and for us to continually try to keep up with them and new Technology. Consider setting up a parental controlled account for him. It’s so much easier to manage. You can let the controls go as he gets older. I have a step by step on how to do this here on my blog http://digitalbreezes.com/2011/07/16/how-to-set-up-a-parental-controlled-account-on-apple-mac/. Best Wishes Leonie

  • Completely banning him is a bit mean Sarah
    As Leonie said its okay id he only plays in survival.
    You can always block the internet whilst hes playing minecraft.
    -PS might not be very helpful as im 11.
    Also i go on public servers and own a public server and i havnt had any probelems ๐Ÿ˜€

  • woops forgot the

  • Do you realy have to make that post that many times?
    And you didnt even make your statement clear!
    -enraged huff-

    • That was all spam, they put a link in there comment to whatever they are selling, getting a LOT of that lately all deleted.

      • Maureen

        Hi Leoni,

        I came accross this website in search of some useful information and I thank you as many of your comments have been helpful. My dilema is that I have an ADHD son who is 12 and consumed by Minecraft. He has set up his own server but has made it public so “people can join” the problem I have of course is that I do not know who these kids are…I monitor the conversations as he plays in a room with the door open and I sit with him on ocassion to see what is going on. It all looks okay and the kids are skyping live in conversations about minecraft. Unfortunely, the kids that he knows at school do not play and this is why he tells me at least “these” kids like to play. I am worried about personal information leaking out to these unknown people. Is it possible that anyone could track our home address via minecraft skype? He had an incident of a hacker trying to destroy his site but he banned him somehow but the guy continues to try and get in somehow now my son and the other online kids just ignore him and keep him out of the game. At one point to my horror the guy asked where is your house? of course my son said you do not need to know. Advice please?

        • Hi Maureen thank you for your comment. Here’s some ideas for you. Skype has privacy settings, be sure to set them up, so that your son, cannot be contacted by strangers, only people he approves. Go to his Skype account go to preferences and then to the Privacy tab, and set all to Friends on my contact list only. Once this is done he will be far more secure on Skype. And no, another user cannot get his address from Skype.

          As regards his server, to be most secure he should set it to private NOT public, and have a white list of friends who are allowed. There are a LOT of kids on Minecraft of course and many of them are totally harmless. (griefing is just smashing your builds up, its not hacking..annoying but harmless) It would be best at his young age to only be playing with kids he knows in real life. Save the online friends for when he is much older, at least 15 years. The reason a most of his real life friends don’t play online would probably be that they are not allowed. My older son has a few online friends he plays with, and I have supervised them and found them good boys and around his age but he is 16yrs. My younger son is 13yrs, and he only plays with his school friends.

          It sounds like your son has a good understanding of privacy but keep educating him, and keep supervising your doing a great job!

  • HEROBRINE

    Not true leonine
    You can hack skype
    There is software which hacks Ips using Skype and theres some clever software that allows you to track info

    • Thanks Herobrine, True if you have a computer you are at a risk of something being Hacked, but in general the average person using Skype can’t see your whereabouts and IP addresses only give a general location.

      • Emmet

        are you british leonie smith

  • Doug

    I have the perfect punishment for a teen who needs an effective and applicable punishment for abusing the computer and/or lying to his parents about computer use. It might be a good thing to explain that I don’t have a problem with my son playing Mind Craft. What I have a problem with is his being addicted to it and lying about his time on the game or other abuses using the computer. Starting tonight, if I catch him in a lie or other abuse of the computer I will restore his laptop back 1 week and delete all restore points beyond that restore date; thus effectively wiping out all his work on the game for 1 full week. That should send a big message to him that if he wants to keep his work, he better follow the rules and not lie.

    • Yikes! We just have a Game time, time table. If they go over then the time over is taken off the next session. But hey what ever works for your family ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Xgamer – Gaming

      That’s very rude. I once took a great number of time to make a minigame center for my friends. I would be very sad if someone did that. Maybe keep a save in a usb and store it in a safe place before restoring?

  • HEROBRINE

    Doug he can copy the world and hide it in a folder so unless you completely wipe the laptop it won’t work

  • Christina

    I’m a 10 year old female, and I play Minecraft once in a while. The thing is, my 9 year old brother plays Minecraft almost every day which I’m afraid of. Because he plays on many, many different PvP servers. There’s too many swear words, and un necessary words that I see a lot. He has been called names, and he has been in trouble too. I tried taking off his chat, but he just put it back on. What should I do? He can’t be blamed for, next I might try and tell him to not chat. Sure, like that’ll work. I really need help. Please, answer my question. Once you do, I’ll have to tell my Mother. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Christina, thanks for reaching out with your question.

      It’s important that your brother should be playing only with friends he knows in real life when he is online. Do you know how to create a private server? there are some links in this post to show you how, it’s not easy to do, but I have heard that one day it will be easy for people to create a private server, where you can only invite certain friends.

      You are right, at 9 years old he is too young to play online with strangers, on most other games the age limit is 13yrs and older. And your mum should know what Minecraft is and how it works, then she can decide what to do.

      Your brother might be a bit cross with you to start with, but it’s more important that your mum knows what he is doing. Then steps can be taken to make it safe for your brother to play. Minecraft is such a wonderful game for kids, but it needs to be played safely. Show your mum this response and my post to help her with ideas on how he can play it safely if she still is happy for him to play it. I hope this answer helps you and your brother.

  • TheRevan789

    Iยดm a 12 years old, i think i need to say some things, playing games has beneficts and dis-advantages, i learned english ((My mother language is Spanish)) Because of games, and a little of help of my parents :).

    I play minecraft and another games, my parents give me 3 hs of playing games, except weekends. I think that games help you, if you are mature enough, you can probably play online in games, as i played MMOยดs. ((As star wars the old republic)) and because i played many games, and readed many books i now are creating a story,

    My point is that if you play well ((With no addictions, regulated, and you are mature enough)) they can be really helpful, a friend knowยดs very well geometry because of minecraft ((He thinks that 3 cm are 3 blocks and does it really easy :D)) Or that i know english because of games ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for your comment TheReven789 I’m pleased to see you using a “Handle” instead of your name too! Very smart. It seems you have quite a good grasp of Minecraft and the smart way to use it. I agree balance is everything. I love computers too and games, but I know I shouldn’t stay on them all day, even for work! I tell my kids they will turn into Jelly Fish if they don’t get off the games and computers and go outside for a bit of fresh air and some adventure! You do have to learn to pace yourself, and as a child that’s wonderful that your parents are helping you to do this. I think Minecraft is also a wonderful game, thanks for telling me what you and your friend have learned though it, thats very interesting to know!

      How do you find the moderators on Minecraft? Are they there when you need them? have you ever had to complain about anything?

      • TheRevan789

        In some private servers there are rules, as no griefing ((Perma-ban)) or no saying “the words” ((i are avoiding them. 3 days of ban 3 times, more and you are perma-banned))

        The moderators arenยดt that hard to found, in the chat you can advise them. And no, i dinยดt had to complain about anything ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Elizabeth Hayes

    My 9 yr old son plays minecraft, but I having a difficult time finding a safe family friendly server and any information about the game. It is advertised as “minor welcome”, but there has been a lot of abuse on the three servers he’s been on. The most recent one by the moderator of the game while he( mod) and the adminastrator disscussed whether or not they were going to study for exams that night The mod destroyed his buildings and killed his animals while my son pleaded for them to stop. They laughed, swore, called him names. I search on several sites, but there is no place to to report this. I’d like to find anoputher server, but there there isn’t any information. If there are ways to protect himself, I can’t find them. Is there anything I can do or do I just have to take him off of it? I can’t be the only parent experincing grief over this problem.

    Elizabeth

    • Hi Elizabeth, your son needs to be on single player mode. He shouldn’t be playing multi player with strangers online. If he plays single player mode he won’t be playing Minecraft as an online multiplayer game, he can play without others upsetting him.

      Where he logs in he should select Single Player.

      If he wants to play with his friends online, they need to build their own server I linked to the instructions here. http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Server

      • Elizabeth

        I apologize for the delay in responding to your post. We did as you suggested and helped him build his own server and he now plays only with those he invites. Thank you so much for the link, I don’t think I would ever have found it on my own!

        Elizabeth

        • Thats Brilliant Elizabeth! How difficult was it to set up?

    • WonderKidsMom

      Elizabeth, there are safe servers out there but they are hard to find. My 13 year old just created one and his group of friends are well behaved. No foul language, no griefing, etc. I remember my sons frustration as older players were destroying his stuff and killing his player.

    • doomcave

      I am sorry but there is not just one server there are millions so he should just either play single player or join another server people destroy things of others and it is called by the minecraft community greifing but i would just play it safe and play singleplayer.

  • Hi,
    Firstly there’s no such thing as the Herobrine, however mojang made an account Herobrine as a joke. Some people say there was a coding eror which probably means that a zombie got a Steve skin with white eyes because on the game there used to be a “Dark Steve” with white eyes.
    Secondly, What’s to be scared of? And anyway all of my friends have played for ages and there’s no such thing
    He’s not real and never has been.
    rory_h
    Ps: You may get mods or see him on multiplayer as the server command /nick on easy essentials allows you to obtain any name while on that server. There are Also Herobrine mods and server plugins which spawns a Herobrine mob.
    I have been killed by Herobrine on my friends server because he had a command that allowed him to kill mr in away were I came up on chat that I was struck down by it.

    -Rory_h (11) Hope I helped

  • Thanks Corporal Creeper,

    I was just worried that my computer may crash, but now I am not worried. That relieves me.

    Samuel

  • noor ahmed

    For the last two weeks, my daughter is on the internet just watching and playing minecraft. I feel she is developing addiction to it. I don’t know how to sort out this and bring her back to life.

    • You need to set some limits. Use rewards and consequences. Set her a timetable for game play.

      • WonderKidsMom

        I agree with setting limits. Ask yourself what else you would like her to be doing. Is she avoiding friends and invites to go do something fun? My sons friends are all starting to “date” at 12 and 13 and all they want to do is walk the malls with their girlfriends or lay around watching tv. Some are starting to experiment. It’s those times I’m glad my son is gaming!!

  • Rosasharn

    Thanks for the helpful tips! My son is turning 9 next month and I’ve been trying to decide if i want him to get this game or not. Single player seems to be the way to go. Since we’re overseas living in a small town, non English-speaking environment, I’m not even sure if any of his friends play this game or not.

    • Yes definitely single player, thats safest for sure.

  • concerned mum

    My 9 year old daughters teacher has introduced a minecraft server for the class. They don’t play it much during class time, but it is used hugely as a behaviour management reward.

    My concern is the teacher (older male) is on the class server playing it all during weekends etc. One of her classmates was on at 10:30pm during the holidays and it was just the teacher and her on their. The teacher has also set up a girls camp in there, that only girls are allowed in, except of course the teacher. I find it uncomfortable that my daughter is on there, basically at times just with the teacher or one other child, and no other adults monitoring. I do read the chat over her shoulder and nothing seems untoward, I just find it odd and don’t like the privacy of it all. And that they have to rely on the teacher in the game to advance them further. I don’t play, but she said he can transport them, they can’t do it themselves, and can build things quicker than they can alone. The alarm bells are ringing for me.

    We’ve responded by setting up stronger rules around playing it. Only for an hour each day on weekends only, which has calmed the addiction a lot.
    Am I over reacting or should I take my concerns further?

    • Concerned Mum I’m totally with you on this one. Lately there have been some conversations around teachers being on social media with their students, and I’m definitely not comfortable with that. Why? because social media and online gaming can be one to one with no supervision, and my son had an issue with a school employee approaching him online. I think its breaking boundaries and I find it difficult to believe that the teacher is allowed to meet his students online after hours. I wish it were not so, that our kids would have to be wary of their own teacher online…but sadly history teaches us, that those that we trust the most can be our greatest betrayers. And only open class rooms is safe for our children. Your daughter’s teacher might have the purest intentions, but a child playing online with an adult is NOT supervised. I would advise you to not allow your daughter to continue. I’m surprised your daughters school allows a teacher to “play” with his students outside of school hours, thats not usually allowed. These are new days, and so much in technology is catching us unawares, rules and boundaries not set before we are challenged to face them. I think you need to take your concerns further while ensuring that the teacher is protected, he hasn’t done anything wrong…but it’s not safe for the teacher or his students to continue to do this. The teacher is putting himself in a vulnerable position where he might be accused of something he didn’t intend simply because he is fraternising with students out of school. I hope this helps.

      • John

        Hello – I hope this parent has been to the school. She is right for the alarm bells to be ringing. Perhaps worth a follow-up to check, as there are a number of indicators that should raise the school’s concerns. If they don’t take it seriously, take it further!

  • Lucinda Thompson

    Hello and I’m a 12 year old girl thinking of joining MC. I play a lot of games but I try to limit myself because I know that if I’m on for hours each day I’ll get addicted. My parents let me go on the computer for as long as I like, as long as my homework is done (we have a few hours each night of it), my room is tidy and I’ve ate something. When I go on I play a viarity (I spelt that wrong) of different games so I don’t get hooked on a certain game. A few days ago I have being playing the mc demo and after a lot of contemplation I had come to the conclusion that I liked the game. Now I am highly picky on the type of games I like to play because if I play a game I want to make sure it’s good.
    My main concern is the public server. I live in a neighborhood (spelt that wrong also) where I’m the only child living on the street so a public server would be the server I’d have to do on. I know I could play by myself but I like communicating with people otherwise I would feel very bored. Reading the comments I am worried about the language I’d be expecting on a public server. I can ignore it but I don’t like the feeling of doing what I do best while such obscene language is being said. Does any of you have any servers I could join that are child friendly? (I wouldn’t be joining just yet I need to ask my parents for a membership).

    • Lucinda, firstly I have to say, what a responsible young lady you are! Researching apps and games before you sign up for them is really important for your safety and I encourage you to continue this. I have heard that there are some more child friendly servers on Minecraft, but I can’t recommend any of them because its not just swearing you have to be concerned about. I think it is better to play with kids you know in real life mainly because it helps cut down on bullying and then you can be sure they are who they say they are. Even in child friendly servers there is still a chance that a child on there, may not be a real child. I’d be worried that some child friendly servers have adults on there pretending to be a child. And I’ve heard that there can be a lot of griefing and ganging up on some kids on some servers, even when they are more child friendly. Playing on your own server with a white list of friends at least is safer because you know who the others are, and therefor it is less likely that you will get bullied. If I were you, if you or mum or dad are techy enough I’d set up your own server and eventually find some kids that you know in RL and invite them to play on your server. Thanks for your comment and keep being a smart girl online!

      • Lucinda Thompson

        Well thank you ^^! Yeah you’re right. But at the school I go to MC? Pfft, you even mention it and you’re the brand new geek. Only 1 person in the whole school plays it (in our class) and she gets bullied often. I would play with her but she only goes on single player mode.
        It really disappoints me how so many adults take advantage of children in very wrong ways. I definitely wouldn’t like griefing also!
        I guess I’m stuck right now. I could make my own server but I’d be the only one playing on it sadly. I guess it’s single player for me, so I better just play the free version.

        • Thanks Lucinda, I’d really like to see kid safe servers that were proven to be safe,

        • Leonie Smith

          No public server is entirely safe, because adults can pretend to be kids, and kids can gang up on you, if they are not close friends offline with you.

    • Noah Tennant

      Another thing you can do is when you are on the server you can go onto multiplayer settings and change the multiplayer chat to commands only.

  • Noah Tennant

    Do you by any chance know if Minecraft servers are harmful to my computer? I am 12 years old and I was playing on a kid-friendly Minecraft server (play.moosevalley.net) and I don’t know if it is safe, or if it will in any way harm my computer.

    Thanks for your time,
    – Noah

    • Watch out for any mods you download, be sure they are from respected sources

    • Payton Schuma

      No, it will not warm your computer, but if you are downloading a map, mod, etc. make sure it is from a trusted source. I always download mods from Mediafire, I think that’s the only site you should trust.

    • doomcave

      No it will not the only way your computer could be harmed is by downloading a fill that is corrupted. going on a server does not download a file.

  • Only mods and texture packs (downloadable content) contain content possibly harmful for your PC but main stream mods like tekkit if you get them from the official downloads there safe.
    Servers cannot damage your pc however it can trace your ip like Skype which is a rough idea of whee you live ( a few miles)

  • Wow…
    At the school I go to being clever and a geek is cool…
    And minecraft is a game played by most. I have a frond who draws out red stone circuits :))

    • Great school!

    • Leonie Smith

      Sounds like a Great School!

  • WonderKidsMom

    I am the mom of a 13 year old boy who loves to play on Minecraft. I realized early on that he was not like most of his friends….he does not enjoy sports and his gross motor skills are weak. Riding a bike, skateboard or skates are extremely difficult for him, as is playing basketball and other team sports. So I do not push him, but I do encourage him to find something to be active. Luckily he plays badminton once a week at a club and we ski as a family (none of his friends ski). Many days I am grateful that I don’t have to spend all my time and money running to various sports and activities.

    When trying to decide if I should let him be a gamer and develop his own server, I had to ask myself what other things he should be doing with his time. His grades are straight A’s, he does chores without a problem and has a lot of friends at school. There are no kids around us that he would want to be with (the few I see around here like to cause trouble). He hasn’t developed a crush on girls yet. I can’t tell him to go outside and play because how does a teenager play? His best friends don’t want to come over because they are at home gaming. It’s frustrating.

    So I plan social activities for us as a family and try to invite friends along which usually works. Times have certainly changed though! I do see the gaming as a good thing but monitor it closely.

    • Your approach is like mine WonderKidsMom, every kids is different, and for children who might otherwise be marginalised and isolated computers and gaming are wonderful. It can be a very lonely time for kids that fall outside the social circles. Balance is everything.

    • Leonie Smith

      Your approach is like mine WonderKidsMom, every kids is different, and for children who might otherwise be marginalised and isolated computers and gaming are wonderful. It can be a very lonely time for kids that fall outside the social circles. Balance is everything.

    • doomcave

      Gender roles gender roles gender roles
      boys do not have to play sports and who knows maybe your son could be homosexual it is not a bad thing if he is but it doesn’t mean that gaming is the cause of lack of motor skills.

  • Leonie Smith

    Just updating my comment software they will be back soon!

  • DD225

    Of course kids can play minecraft! not only is it an entertaining sandbox game, but it has you learn your arrays, coordinates, and lots more about technology! (though my mom think minecraft drains my brain, which is a very dumb move right there.) So i think minecraft is a TERRIFIC example for kids!

    • Leonie Smith

      My mum used to say the same thing about T.V DD225 ๐Ÿ™‚ She always made sure we had time away from the screen to develop our creativity, and it certainly worked my family are certainly very creative, even though 2 of us now work with computers ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonomous

    NO!!! THAT GAME IS SUPER ADDICTING AND SO UNREALISTIC!! WVERYRHING IN THAT STUPID GAME IS BLOCKS AND THERE ALOT OF CYBERBULLIES ON ME NECRAFT SERVERS!! CALL THIS GAME MINDCRACK AS IN CRACK THE DRUG GABGS USED BUT FOR YOUR BRAIN AND FOR KIDS TEENS ETC. PLEASE DONT PLAY THIS GAME AND DONT LET YOUR KIDS PLAY IT!! MY GRADES WENT DOWN AND I NOTICED I GOT BEHAVORIAL ISSUSES BECAUSE OF THIS GAME!!! TRUST ME I REALLY EXPERIENCED THIS!!! KEEP SEARCHING ON THE INTERNET IF MINECRAFT IS BAD FOR YOUR BRAIN ANS KIDS BRAIN!!

    • Leonie Smith

      Thanks for your post Anonomous. If a child, or even an adult for that matter, is getting addicted to any game to the point where it is taking over their lives and preventing them from doing other things in life, getting some help for their addiction is advisable. Certainly taking a break from anything that is getting addictive is a good thing, to learn how to live without relying on something. Balance in all things is a much better way to live. Some people forget to have a life off line, then one day when they have to be offline they forget how to have fun ๐Ÿ™ I hope you are finding some balance in your life now Anonomous.

  • Leonie Smith

    I’ve moved this very popular post over here to my Cyber Safety Blog please follow the comments from this thread thanks Leonie

  • Mel

    Although initially my 7 yo son was allowed to play Minecraft Creative mode we have since banned it and I would encourage all parents to do the same.
    We had only let him play creative mode at home but through a visit to a friends house my son played one of the other modes. He was exposed not only to the zombies, creepers and giant spiders of the other game modes but also to Slender Man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slender_Man). Slender Man is a terrifying creature/ child snatcher that I had never heard of until now.

    It has been at least 2 months since this event and my son is still finding it hard to go to sleep with these images in his mind. After much discussion it turns out they are ‘role playing’ Minecraft during lunchtime at school, keeping these images fresh in his mind.

    You can set up private, creative mode servers however I spoke to another friend who had done this for her sons and a few of their friends. It was hacked into, all of the kids stuff destroyed and profanities written all over the place.

    My recommendation – leave Minecraft well alone.

    • Leonie Smith

      Thankyou Mel for your comment. I agree that all children are not suitable for all games. And certainly my children were not playing Minecraft or any game like it at 7 years old. You have to make your decisions on game play and movies books and all media based on your child’s ability to handle the content.

      • Daniel Sallinen

        There is an option to disable harmful monsters or “mobs” as they are known in the minecraft community

      • Maureen Renfro

        My 10 years old step daughter is always on it and she just met a boy on it and im kinda worried because i didnt no they got a chat room in it and the first time i saw it i saw alot of f words in there and i ask her she said some people curse but she doesnt read it… I dont think the game is right for gals… Do u think i should disconnect her from playing mindcraft? Because she could be on it all day chatting with people i dont no and i have no idea what they are talking about…

        • You might want to read this other article about how kids can play Minecraft without meeting strangers. They definitinly should not be playing the online version with other players you and they don’t know. https://thecybersafetylady.com.au/2014/08/a-parents-guide-to-minecraft/

        • Jason Padgett

          in the minecraft folder there is a folder listed as log, that contains all of the chat logs you can open those up and see what has been said. It really depends on the server and how much you trust your step daughter. I play on a very family friendly server that I would trust my young cousins to be safe on since the server is run mostly by parents who have their kids playing

    • Aldark

      Slenderman isnt in minecraft. Slenderman is in his own game which is called ‘slender’. You are talking about the endermen, who are not at all scary. Just a common creature who can be quiet friendly.

  • Payton Schuma

    Okay, first there is no Slender Man in Minecraft, that is a different game called “Slender” (That game is scary), although there is something close to him in MC called an Ender Man, he is not scary and looks nothing like Slender. Also, if your sons friends are playing Slender, their parents have problems, its the scariest game I’ve played. I think MC is a really great mind bending game, the monsters really aren’t very scary, the only thing you need to look out for is online multiplayer, where the players in chat can say ANYTHING. I am only allowed to play on servers that you have to be whitelisted (accepted) to play on where swearing and religious debates are not allowed or you will get banned from the server. Minecraft is definitely my favorite computer game, really fun, not “scary” and fine if you go on a safe server. A definite great buy.

  • tekjunkie75

    I’d like to add a little to this, to all of those parents out there worried about public servers. There is a lot to sort through, especially with how popular Minecraft is! I’m a father of 3 boys (13, 8, and 6) who all love to play minecraft. We play together on private maps, I’ve run my own server (was up for over a year, before the old computer it was running on died; I’m in IT, and a geek :). They all do other things as well, but Minecraft is the ‘go to’ game in our household. I’m not a fan of shooters or other violent games; but Minecraft isn’t like that. You use your imagination to build, create, design, etc. Redstone in the game can teach your kids basic electronics and circuitry as well. Bonus!
    Public servers are really hit or miss, but I found one that is truly awesome. Look up Intercraften. Fully legitimate, run by some really cool folks. It’s the ONE server that I don’t have to worry about my kids logging into, and playing with others. Yes, there’s some adults on there. They’re usually playing with their kids. Yes, there are TONS of kids on there. The moderators will kick you if you use profanity, or grief (break/destroy) peoples creations. It’s whitelist only, meaning you have to send the moderators an email, explaining why you want to play on the server.
    I’m not an owner or moderator of Intercraften. But, I’d played on it so much that I’d donated to them to keep it free. One of the BEST servers I’ve found.

    • Thanks for the comment Tekjunkie75 thanks for the tip! I’d also ad that parental supervision is so important whether on public or private servers, on virtual worlds or online gaming. Case in point, my kids have had their own private servers for years. I think they started Minecraft late 2010…but even on a their own private server with RL friends only, fights would break out, and being nearby was really important to help the kids sort out disputes, and teaching them skills to deal with similar situations is so important. Minecraft was and still is a fantastic way for kids to learn how to work together and collaboratively. Also, I never fully trust public servers, only because I know so many people online pretend to be kids, even using voice changers. Voice changers for online chat have been around for years, and are incredibly simple to use and very sophisticated. Nope it’s not paranoia, its my own personal experience with online worlds that informs me on this one. So be very very careful on public servers.

      • doomcave

        *Facepalm

        sorry its just in minecraft in public servers or any server there is no voice chat that was a safety precaution made so kids couldn’t Talk to strangers and yes it is your own paranoia

        the only way a stranger could talk to your kid is using text chat that is the only chat and bye the way the only way they could use voice chat is using something like skype or google hang outs which are not in minecraft. *Facepalm *Facepalm *Facepalm

        • Yes aware of that doomcave, most kids do use Skype on Minecraft, as they do on many games. They simply add the contact in Skype easy to do.

        • doomcave, Many kids use Skype whilst playing Minecraft, It is easy to add someone on Skype that they meet through text chat on any online game. There is no need to be rude. I’ve deleted one of your previous comments you won’t be welcome to comment again.

          • Aldark

            As a 26yo who grew up playing video games both online and offline, I have to say the online environment isn’t as toxic as you make it out to be. Situations where stranger danger can become harmful is incredibly rare, and even then kids can be smart. Even when I was 12, and dial-up just became affordable to a mid/low-class family like mine, I never needed my mother to ‘look over my shoulder’ while playing games online. She just checked up on me now and then. I was smart enough to know what etiquette and logic to use while talking to strangers, because my mother taught me well enough growing up to that point. Its all about teaching your kids the right way of life from day 1. If they’re not smart enough to listen, they obviously need professional help. Its no laughing matter.

            Once logic has been established in the online environment, great and encourage-worthy situations can be born. I have met one of my best lifelong friends online, and in my last years of highschool I had a girlfriend online who I stayed with for 5 years. These are not situations to be afraid of as a parent, but situations to be encouraged as it can often help a developing child to grow as a person. I wouldnt be the same person today, if I never met Amanda or Jarrad. They helped me get past some of the darkest points in my life.

          • Thanks Aldark, you need to read my bio….I’ve been building online communities for over 20 years, I would never say it was toxic, like you it had benefited my family enormously. My passion is to help people understand it. Unfortunately as a professional in cyber safety I see where it does go wrong on a daily basis with parents not understanding the environment, or using the tools to help make it safer for kids. Also not all online interaction go as well as yours, I’ve had similar positive experiences as an adult with Second Life. But I’ve also had experiences that were really awful, as have my kids and many other families I’ve had to help, for many complicated reasons. Education is key here.

  • OFP857

    Minecraft is fun, but can be even more so, with custom modifications (or “mods”). Also, downloadable minecraft worlds such as “adventure maps” made by people, are often fun as well. I personally play minecraft myself and enjoy it.

  • Daniel Sallinen

    i might add something. I currently play minecraft and very much enjoy it. But. There is one flaw. Several adults play minecraft and on some servers there are “Sexual themed rooms” or places where people would chat about personal information and other things. I have also seen a server where the owner is a charged pedophile. All in all, minecraft is a fun and non-violent game but should be played with moderate supervision.

    • Thanks for this Daniel. When parents or students ask me about safety in Minecraft, I do remind them that adults play it, and that the safety way for kids to play is either single player, Lan, or on a private server with real life friends only. Do you have any other tips I should add?

      • Daniel Sallinen

        In fact, i do. Anyone can make a server. It is simple, and often free of charge. Owners and staff members often times destroy hard earned buildings and tools.

        • Daniel Sallinen

          This destruction is commonly known as griefing

          • Yup know all about Greifing, we had a lot of it in my Second Life days ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes I recommend parents look at the Minecraft Wikki for instructions for setting up your own server although it’s not for the faint hearted!

  • Skippy76

    I’m almost 40 years old and really enjoying this game. I’m really looking forward to getting my kids involved in it as well. It is an addictive game, specially when playing with a familiar group of people. There’s always something to do or something to build. You always get the bad apples that grief your structures when you play online but most moderators can repair it and ban anyone if they crossed the line. Also, most servers have word filters that replace curse words with cute ones. Makes for funny reading sometimes. This game is truly great and I REALLY hope that Microsoft won’t fix anything that isn’t broken!

  • Anonymous

    Personally, i like Minecraft. I know its not very realistic, but its very funny, and i like it, because you can play it in Multyplayer, because in Singleplayer the only thing that’s funny is playing with mods.

    Thanks for the time..
    Anonymous ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa Faye Smith

    My grandson loves it,He is 12 and high ability student.He wants to be an architect because of this game.More power to it lol but i do think its addicting but so is candy crush for me.

    • Thanks Lisa! Good point, anything can be addicting, especially games where you are penalised if you leave. Minecraft can be a really great opportunity for parents to teach kids to balance things that give them all that wonderful adrenaline and excitement, with other activities. TV was the addictive problem in my childhood…my parents had to be very very strict ๐Ÿ™‚ Now it’s computer games. Set boundaries and limits and that goes for us too!

  • gamermom

    Hi I came across your story and thought I would ask if you had ever heard of herobrine? I was researching how safe Minecraft was for my 6 year old because he came to me talking about a white eyed Steve, (they call him herobrine i guess) that was following him on solo player and burning his things and following him around just staring at him….it really scared him and he won’t play anymore. He says he was in single player and even double checked making sure no one else was on the server. If you have any info please share thanks!

  • urthcreature

    Many kids enjoy the building mode of the game and have no interest in the killing/fighting (many others enjoy the killing/fighting aspect of the game). But the serious problem with all of these games, no matter how well they are designed and how interesting they are, including minecraft, is that they give kids a false sense of accomplishment which is extremely addictive. Soon kids come to prefer the video games to other activities because they can feel so much false accomplishment so easily through them. Why bother to climb a tree when you can build forests in seconds in a game? Who cares about trying to learn to play an instrument or write a song or write a story or getting out in the world and doing real stuff, when you can feel as if you have created so much in a game while simply sitting in a chair, without having to exert the real effort that real activities require? We were always very careful to allow our son very limited access to these games because we didn’t want him to wind up in the severely addicted state that we’ve seen in other children (some won’t even get up from the games to go to the bathroom on time. I’m not kidding.)…..but even with very limited use he has still become addicted to the false sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of reaching a high level, knowing all the “mods” you can use in the game, all the tricks and ins and outs, etc. Kids simply have no way of understanding that they are throwing away their childhood on these games, putting hours and hours of their time into these games that don’t give them back anything. The accomplishments are fantasy, they are not real. The skills are not real, they are just pushing buttons in order to stack up blocks. If they’d spent the same amount of time on any other activity they would have gotten a lot more back in return because their accomplishments and skills would be real and would exist in real life lol. Our son still makes excellent grades, is still a very nice kid, etc, but the games simply steal time and take away the focus and desire from real pursuits and real accomplishment. They come to think of real activities as more of a chore, because the games are so easy by comparison. We’re now in the process of cutting off the games entirely because at age 12 it is time to move on. We don’t want him to be one of these people who continue to spend their time this way as teenagers or even adults. We don’t want him to lose any more hours, weeks, or years to these games.

    • Thankyou for your detailed comments. Screen time balance has always been important, even in the 60’s and 70’s when I was wanting to watch Movies and TV shows all day! TV used to be the addictive issue now it’s gaming. All families are different and have different ideas around content and time limits. And kids are all different as to how addicted or active they are. Parents ability to help their children stay active and engaged outside gaming depends on the childs personality, parenting style, location, and parents ability to monitor and supervise, but balance can be achieved with the right combination of these things. Many parents I speak to delay introducing their kids to computing, social media and gaming, and that is their choice. Some parents struggle , as you have, to keep balance, and there are many reasons I’ve seen for this. I advise parents to try to think of digital parenting in the same way as any other type of parenting. If you successfully set limits on other behavioural issues, then try using those techniques with gaming and screen time. I have some great tips on screen time limits here. https://thecybersafetylady.com.au/2014/08/families-can-balance-screen-time/

  • urthcreature

    Imagine if a kid got a monopoly game, but instead of enjoying playing it every now and then, he/she wanted to play it pretty often, like maybe every week. That would be weird enough already, but what if he wanted to play it every day? and what if this interest continued not for a few weeks but maybe for a summer, or what if it went on for an even longer time, like up to a year? Or more? At some point wouldn’t you go, “Hmmmm, maybe this game is taking too much of his/her time?” “Maybe this amount of use is weird and it’s time for this child to move on to other things?” But what if the makers of the game said, “But there are infinite permutations within the game and the child has to exercise creativity in using the game.” Would you go, oh, OK. Let our child spend his life on this game then? Or wouldn’t you still go, “It’s time to throw this game away!” lol

  • urthcreature

    recently we attended a school program and the program was completely ruined by parents who were playing video games and texting during the show while their children were performing. Their kids were up there on stage performing for them but they couldn’t look up because they were too addicted to candy crush or other stupidity. Nor did these people have any respect for anyone else in the audience, whose enjoyment of the program was ruined by the games and phones lighting up around them. The people did not even have the courtesy to sit in a row toward the back so they wouldn’t ruin the show for the performers and the audience. Sadly this can result from these addictive games and compulsive texting. People get to the point that they don’t have a normal awareness of how they are affecting others around them or their own lives with their compulsion.

  • urthcreature

    Thank you for your reply and I agree, where TV used to be the addiction medium, now it is games, and many families struggle trying to figure out how to keep the use limited enough so it doesn’t displace real activities like exercise, play, real life creative activities, gaining real skills and spending time making real memories with friends and family instead of in the game world.
    Unfortunately, it’s very hard for kids to use the games just a little, and even harder for kids to really get their minds completely free of the games when they’re off of them. Even adults can become addicted to them, so imagine how it is for kids. Some of the issues that may be involved are: (1) The availability of games is almost limitless, available around the clock and on so many media. (2) The games themselves are designed toward addiction / continual use; most of the games do not have convenient stopping points, or stopping points fly by quickly and straight into next adventure, and stopping at that point will cause loss of points or will be abandoning others.(3) Ease of use, compared to real activities that require effort and energy. (Compare for example travelling in minecraft vs. running around the block or building a structure in minecraft vs building a real model or tree house.) (4) False sense of accomplishment gained from the games / ease of satisfaction, perceived “status” and “scores” in games. (5) Built- in components in many games that cause kids to feel compelled to continue, for example, the pets or companions in the game need food, attention or support, the buildings have to be defended, the score has to be maintained, etc. Basically, the games do not encourage just occasional use.
    For children in their formative years, the sensation of pseudo accomplishment they derive from the game can quickly become a preference over exercise/effort activities and real world activities. Growing kids and teens do not have the maturity or perspective to understand that the games are taking away time from real things that could be developed. In fact, bored moments, time to think, in real life can lead to very rewarding real-life activities and pursuits, but games fill this gap. Even adults who use video games often do not notice that the games are compromising their attention toward their children and others and real life activities.
    What we discovered after allowing limited use for a few years, and even with many other activities present in our child’s life, is that limited use of video games such as minecraft can still cause addictive feelings and attachments. The games remain in the back of the child’s mind and enter conversation frequently. They feel bad not going back to the games to maintain scores, care for game pets or building projects, etc. We don’t blame our child, we know that if we had had these games when we were kids would have become totally addicted. It’s like TV x 100 in terms of addictiveness. It can actually be very hard to help your child get free from these games, both cutting the games off is hard because of the availability, and getting mentally free is the hardest part, regaining 100% interest in real life activities and remembering how to really live in the moment– really moving on from “game world”. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’s worth it, and of course kids deserve it.
    (The factors you mentioned are all important and can greatly affect how much time kids spend on games. We, and many parents we know, have not provided our tween with a smart phone or hand-held gaming device for this reason. And regarding smaller children, of course studies have come out recently showing that young children who spend time on hand held gaming devices have been found to have a higher incidence of ADHD and other developmental issues.)
    I would recommend to any parent, consider (a) whether you want your child to get involved in video games to begin with, or (b) if they are, if it’s time to move on to new things. Your child will need your active support to help them do so and to make other activities possible. If your child’s friends spend their time in a particular game along with your child, consider the possiblity of the kids getting into another activity together. For example, what if you invited the kids to join a sailing class or tennis class or robotics club or to try to form a band, or a running club, or whatever it might be? The activities of today are tomorrow’s memories. These activities allow the possibility for much more real conversation as well. If there had been Minecraft and all these other games in Mozart’s time or the Rolling Stones’ childhood, would they have been motivated to gain the skills on the instruments, write their music, etc? How many Beatles, Baryshnikovs, Shakespeares, Rembrandts, or Marie Curies of today are not picking up a guitar, dance shoes, pen, paintbrush, or microscope because they are busy maintaining that score in game world instead? ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great day!!! Good luck to parents and kids going through this like we are, wish us luck! (This is my last comment, thanks !!)

    • Thank you for your reply urthcreature. It’s important to note, that not all kids get addicted to games. Many kids play games but still have balanced social lives, and enjoy other pursuits. I’m not a psychologist so I can’t comment on addiction, other than to say it’s clearly a very complicated issue.

  • Zachary Aranha

    I am a 12-year-old child writing an argument essay on the subjest “Why Minecraft Should be allowed to be Played at Home During The Week”(very long title, yes), because I am banned from Minecraft during the week. If you have any advice for the essay, please respond and Disqus will e-mail me the response. Thanks!

    • Zachary, you are asking the wrong person…I also banned my kids from playing Minecraft during the week. Why? Because it was too hard to get them off when they had a lot of other things they need to do. It also gives kids a chance to do other creative things so that they don’t lose the ability to do that. Good luck with your essay!

      • Zachary Aranha

        Thanks! I’ll send a copy of the essay if you like ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jason Padgett

    Mine-craft can teach you a great deal and encourage creativity. It is true that some servers are not kid safe but others like JustSurvival are very family friendly many of the the staff are parents and thier kids play on the server so they go to great lengths to keep it safe for children.

  • Xgamer – Gaming

    Hello, I am 12. I think i have a problem with minecraft. I have played it for 2 years now, and i used to get straight a’s now its a c and a few b’s and my parents are saying that ill never make it to college. Any advice? I obey the play time rules.

    • Gaming can be addictive if you spend too much time playing, and don’t balance your gaming with other things. To do well in school you need to have some sort of goal I think beyond just getting good grades? What do you want to do with your life? You may not know yet as you are only 12. Yes, if you want to go to College, then good grades are essential to get in. If you love gaming there are lots of career opportunities in I.T or gaming, but you do need good grades. Maybe do some school study before you game, and make sure you don’t neglect important parts of your life for gaming. I love gaming, but I set aside a certain time every week to do it. It is hard to catch up once you fall behind at school. It’s great that you are seeking advice, your teachers and parents need to know that you are aware of the problem, and they will I’m sure help you to succeed. Start thinking beyond school…the world is your Oyster!

      • Xgamer – Gaming

        Thank you Maam! I talked to them and It turns out that I can redo my bad work and get a better grade! Thank you for your help.

    • CosmicPlayz

      I Actully Became Smart By Playing Minecraft Its My Main Thing To Help My Brain Grow before i played minecraft i was stupid i didnt even know what 1 + 1 was xD yep i became smart by playing minecraft

  • Ryan Booker

    i got a good game for kids! its called “outlast” and is a lot like minecraft but a bit more complex! hope you and your kids enjoy it!

  • Grey โ€œGrey’s Techโ€ John

    I don’t understand what’s with saying every game is bad especially cod and other related titles ex battlefield when if you have taught the kids to know that just openly killing people is wrong and that I started games like that at 10 and I am 17 now and i am glad my parents let me play that’s how my friends and I would get to gather because we couldn’t meet that often also not allowing those games can leave people who can’t play them be left out of a group and at that point it’s the parents fault for having the kid be excluded from a group