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Thread: Can Someone Please Explain Minecraft to Me?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved
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    Default Can Someone Please Explain Minecraft to Me?

    So, a lot of times there are things that seem to be a big deal and I don't know anything about them. Generally this is because I didn't think they seemed all that awesome when I heard of them so I didn't bother to learn anything about them. Minecraft falls into this category.

    I know it's a game and I know a lot of kids are really into it and I know some people state it has educational value.

    So, can anyone fill me in on why some people think it is so great and whether or not it is violent? I am very, very picky about violence in media and avoid it much more strictly than most people.

    Saw the other thread about "Minecraft School" and decided to post here.

    Thank you!
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    Senior Member Enlightened JenniferJ's Avatar
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    Not real sure what it's all about, but I have 3 children and they love it. I have heard them use words that they only know bc of this game. So, vocab building?
    JenniferJ - Very busy wife of a triathlete and momma of 3.

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    Senior Member Arrived hockeymom's Avatar
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    The Big Deal things of the moment usually bypass us too, including Minecraft. DS played it once and had zero interest in it. He does like Sim City, which might be a similar concept, but seems much more complex (dealing with diverse economic issues of your town, building infrastructure keeping with the citizens various needs in mind, balancing industry and quality of life needs and so on). Minecraft looked to me like virtual building with Lego like bricks?
    Mama to one son (11)
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    Senior Member Arrived AddlepatedMonkeyMama's Avatar
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    Just yesterday, during the warm up part of my son's karate class, the instructor repeatedly had to reprimand the kids to "stop talking about Minecraft." Then when the instructor was talking about making good decisions, one boy chimed in that it would not be a good decision to run back into your burning house to save your computer because your life is worth more than your Minecraft account. Oi.

    When my son was in public school kindergarten, it was Bakugan and then Pokemon.
    Mother of two monkeys...daughter age 9 and son age 10.5.

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    Senior Member Evolved ksb427's Avatar
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    These links may help:

    Hopefully Modern Fatherhood: Minecraft: A Parents Guide
    Minecraft for Parents 101 | GeekDad

    My two sons, ages 11 and 14, both enjoy the game, but not obsessively. While I don't know completely the ins and outs of it, I do feel comfortable with them playing it. Usually I'm in the same room when they are on and can see what it's about that way. Also, they love to tell me about their "adventures" when they're done which is pretty cool... granted it seems like another language at times.

    As for benefits, I believe Minecraft sparks their interest in computer programming which is definitely a good thing. Also, I have noticed that my younger son's typing skills have improved greatly since he has been playing. (He still takes a typing class though to ensure correct form.) There is also the creative aspect, working with others to complete a goal and more.
    Last edited by ksb427; 01-12-2014 at 09:49 AM.
    Karen

    B1 - 11 (6th grader)
    B2 - 15 (10th grader)

    Homeschooled for three years, but due to various circumstances, we put them back into public school. Still here because I feel like I found my tribe.


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    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    My kids are nuts about computer games, and they come and go with minecraft. Minecraft started off very simply - you can 'mine' blocks of various materials, and build with them. People built some amazing structures. it was a virtual sandbox - you could make anything. There are also 'creepers' - bad guys that explode and kill. and sheep you can raise and cook. I remember my daughter building a house with grass and a waterfall inside, but sheep kept appearing on the inside grass.

    Its gotten more complex. You can even make circuits in it.

    but my youngest prefers ' mini-game servers ' - this is where someone else has created games in minecraft, and other people can play.

    You can play single player, not on line interacting with others, which is fine for building. You can turn off the creepers and play in creative mode which is just for building. But my kids really like it best as a social interaction. My teen had his own server for a while, and kept in touch with homeschool friends who lived far away or moved far away. My younger son's pen pal met and became friends with a homeschooler we know who lives on the opposite end of town from us.

    Eventually that server closed (he was spending most of his allowance on the rental for it), but he still plays with some of those kids on other servers. And Raven has been playing with a local friend, too - they cant always get together in person, but they can use voice chat and hang out together every afternoon.

    there are also versions for the ipad and xbox but those cannot use the same servers as the computer version
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
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    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Also not a big Minecraft family. My kids play sometimes and enjoy it and they'll talk Minecraft with kids who are Minecraft-mad, but it's definitely not been one of their obsessions. Maybe really short term, like when they were first got their accounts.

    I think the "educational benefits" are greatly overstated. As in, yes, it's definitely better and more flexible than most games and can be used educationally (as well as to just completely zone out on a screen), but I don't think it's worth trying to get a child into it solely for the supposed educational benefit. It can spark an interest in programming for some kids, but so can a number of other things. My boys are much more into Scratch. Some of the ways that people have creatively gotten kids to use it to learn about history and architecture and writing are cool, but could apply to nearly anything kids are really into. I mean, writing especially is a bit of a stretch as you can take anything from My Little Pony to Harry Potter to Minecraft and use it as a jump start for writing.
    hockeymom and Rainefox like this.
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    My son 6 plays minecraft. Also watches YouTube videos of people playing or demos about doing certain things. For video games there's not a lot of violence. In survival mode you have to kill spiders creepers or zombies but it's with a sword and not all gory.

    I don't think there are any real benefits just a better more creative and interactive video game than most games. For my ds it was the first game he was into and it has helped him handle frustration and learn to use a controller. He plays the xbox version. Dh plays with him and it has been a fun cooperative thing they do together. But if he wasn't into it I don't think I would go out of my way to help him get involved with it. Unless you are looking for a non objectionable game.

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    My son has improved his writing ability, his reading level, his cooperative play skills. He does internet searches now to find more things about minecraft. It has helped him in so many ways. I would say it is a great educational tool.
    Kathi
    Mama to 12 year old Dakota and Gramma to Homeschooling Damien, Kennedy and Ciencia all using Time4Learning.com for online curriculum.
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    Senior Member Evolved Starkspack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddlepatedMonkeyMama View Post
    Just yesterday, during the warm up part of my son's karate class, the instructor repeatedly had to reprimand the kids to "stop talking about Minecraft." Then when the instructor was talking about making good decisions, one boy chimed in that it would not be a good decision to run back into your burning house to save your computer because your life is worth more than your Minecraft account. Oi.

    When my son was in public school kindergarten, it was Bakugan and then Pokemon.
    At my DD's art class one day, there was a boy who talked non-stop about Minecraft. EVERYTHING anyone said to him or asked him was replied to with something relating to Minecraft. It drove me absolutely nuts, and that was just 2 hours. I decided right then and there, that educational or not, I wasn't going to encourage DD to get into something like this.

    Selfish? Perhaps. But Mama's sanity has to play a role in homeschooling, right? Right?
    farrarwilliams, Avalon and ejsmom like this.
    Working mom homeschooling DD (6!! she's finally 6!!!! and now she can't wait to be 7!!) who is working on a 3rd grade level and keeps me hopping!

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