Minecraft can be a very educational game for our children, but you’re probably worried about whether it’s really safe to offer it to your child at his age.
In this article, I’ll give you the information to know about the game to make that decision.
The game Minecraft is classified PEGI 7, that is to say it is considered suitable for a child from 7 years old.
The PEGI organization considered it acceptable to play from that age because the game is not very realistic and scenes of violence are limited.
Of course, it’s a family-specific decision, and even every child PEGI is a very common indicator, but it’s up to you to make up your mind. You’re in the best position to know what you tolerate and what’s best for your child.
That’s why in this article I’ll rather go back to the risks to consider, rather than debate the age I judge the minimum to play Minecraft. You can then make your decision with all the useful information in hand.
What is Minecraft?
If you don’t know the game at all, that it’s just a recurring gift request, I think a good starting point is that I explain what Minecraft is more precisely.
The Minecraft game in 2 words
Minecraft is a sandbox type game released in 2011 and constantly kept up to date since.
It’s a perfect purchase because it’s really cheap (around $25) and you won’t have to pay for updates.
Minecraft has a particular design, both cubic and realistic.
An image will probably be more telling:
In a sandbox game, the concept is that the player arrives in a world where he can do anything.
He can break blocks to collect resources, build things.
Minecraft has a unique “craft” system, that is, to create new objects, you must have harvested others previously.
For example, to make an arc you will need sticks and string, which you will even get by collecting other resources.
Each craft is different, in terms of materials and the recipe to build it.
This article on the reasons for Minecraft’s success for so many years could bring you more information about the content of the game that is difficult to summarize in so few words 🙂
Different game modes
Also to know before going further is that there are several game modes in Minecraft, which allow each player to find his favorite style.
This can possibly also serve you to direct your child to the least “dangerous” game mode for him.
To put it simply, I will limit myself to the three main game modes:
- Survival mode: This is the one I described to you earlier, and the most used. The player starts with nothing, in a virgin world. It is up to him to define the purpose of his adventure and to achieve all that is necessary to achieve it. This involves harvesting surface resources, mining underground, raising animals and growing fields for food, etc.
- Creative mode: In this game mode the player starts with everything already, the collection of resources is not necessary. The player can steal which greatly facilitates constructions. This is also the main goal of this game mode, to build your dream home in a normal or flat world. This can be a good start for younger people who may find it difficult to understand all the concepts of survival mode.
- The online game: Minecraft offers a multiplayer mode, whether it’s local to play with your kids, or on the Internet to play with other players. There are hundreds of different servers, each with its own specificities, game modes and different communities.
Now that you start to get a good idea of what the game contains, let’s move on to the criteria of choice, with first the dangers of the game, then its benefits.
The dangers of play for your child
So I start with the risks associated with the game Minecraft.
So as not to let you imagine the worst every time, I will try as soon as necessary to illustrate my words with images or animations.
The risks of addiction
First of all, like most video games, Minecraft is a particularly addictive game.
The more you play and the more you develop and move quickly to accomplish your goals in the game.
So it can be tempting to play as much as possible if you take this too seriously.
It often happens to see players who spend their time day and night on Minecraft, turning away from all the other activities.
Without falling into paranoia, it’s good to know that this exists in most video games (yes, even in Mario ^^), and that it’s up to you to keep an eye on your kid’s play time as long as they’re young.
The online game mode is all the more addictive because it is almost only the time you spend in the game that will determine your level or wealth.
And it will be all the harder to resist if he has friends in the game who spend more time than him.
Fights in Minecraft
This is also a classic in today’s video games, but don’t worry, nothing to do with GTA 🙂
Already the fact that Minecraft is not very realistic limits the problem, but it’s still important to talk about it.
There are 3 possible types of “fights” in Minecraft:
- Aggressive mobs: They’re there to add a little difficulty to survival play. These are zombies, skeletons or others who will come to do damage to the player if he misses.
Nothing scary, is it?
Namely, these entities can be disabled by switching the difficulty mode to “Paisible”.
- Passive mobs: As I mentioned earlier, Minecraft allows the breeding of animals. That is to say that there are all the farm animals in the game (cows, sheep, chickens, …), and that by feeding them it allows them to reproduce.
Who breeding says that they will have to be killed at some point.
That will be done by hitting them with or without a weapon.
- Players: If you opt for the online game mode, there are servers that offer fights between players.
For the younger ones, I do not think it is a good idea to leave them free on this type of server (before 12-14 years say, but it remains that my opinion).
It is especially how your child will interpret the act of hitting these entities that can lead you to decide according to his age and sensitivity.
Unfortunately, it will be difficult to disable all this without harming the quality of the game (aggressive mobs are not essential and can be disabled on his part, but I do not believe it is possible to block the rest).
Other forms of violence
Note that there are other parts of the game that can be compared to this idea of “violence”.
- The player in Minecraft can die in different ways. Although this is common in video games, it is not a realistic game, and the death message is simplistic, without staging. However, it is something to be considered and monitored.
- There is TNT in the game, which can explode an area of blocks once lit. I’m not sure if this is possible with the disabled mobs, one of the components should not be getable.
Again we stick to details as soon as we talk about video games, but I told you that I would tell you everything that can make your decision.
The online game
I’ve already broached the topic in the fights part, but I’ll complete it here, the online game needs to be taken seriously.
Indeed, in addition to the potential fights with the players present, this will confront your child with the reality of the world, and not necessarily the best.
I think of bad players, for example insults, scams, and other very low spelling levels that can be found frequently.
Again it is probably a question of finding the pivotal age, from which this game mode can be allowed.
Because once your child will be able to judge correctly what he sees, to take a step back, the online game mode is really interesting, and sharing his passion with other players is also a good thing for him.
I think it should be possible to block the online game by blocking the default port of Minecraft on your internet box (port 25565).
It won’t last long for teens, but for young children this should be a sufficient barrier.
The benefits of play for your child
Before closing this article, I would like to remind you that not everything is black, and that Minecraft is a very interesting game, which can bring a lot to your child.
First, it is a game considered educational, it is also used in many schools around the world.
Minecraft allows you to develop some essential skills like computer science, memory and organization.
I invite you to take a look at this video where a class participates in an activity on the game during school:
There is no real maximum age limit for Minecraft, it will also be interesting for teens and even adults.
Teenagers will be able to reunite with their friends online, in a cooperative context and perform more demanding challenges.
Adults will be able to enjoy themselves in a relaxing game after a day’s work 🙂
Getting into a big project like building a city can really be exciting, and it’s not necessarily at 8 years of age that you’ll have the time and determination to do it solo.
The game has different stages of learning, which make it interesting to play, even for several years.
The first time we discover the game, then we find other things, then we try to optimize everything.
Frequent updates also allow to renew the game regularly.
For the record, I’ve significantly improved my vocabulary in English with Minecraft.
Every simply by switching the game to English!
Given the number of items in the game, this gives a good foundation for real life.
So here we are already at the end of this article, which I hope will have enlightened you a little more about the exact content of the game, allowing you to make the best decision according to your case.
I prefer not to give a minimum age because it remains to be studied according to your education and on a case-by-case basis.
I know that some parents are very restrictive about it, and that others let it happen a little.
It’s up to you to judge what seems best to you so far.
Don’t be too paranoid anyway, it’s still a good “kid’s game” as they say, if it’s used in primary schools it’s because you don’t have to be an adult to play it.
But it’s not taken lightly either. I know that he was threatened with a ban in Turkey because he was deemed too violent.
The right choice is probably between the two 🙂
Maybe the best option is to stay with him, or even test the game yourself before giving it.
You will have a clearer idea and can see how it behaves, whether it’s rather positive or dangerous.