Parent Approved Hero8/10
Safe for Time and Money2/10
- engaging gameplay
- allows creativity
- avoids adult, violent or sexual content
- small goals = lots of dopamine
- innovation focused on playing more
- all the good things are just legos
What Parents Need to Know about Minecraft
Minecraft is basically legos for your computer. You may ask: “Why would I play legos on my computer?”
Great question. The short answer: Because it’s way more addictive to play the video game.
You can build whatever you want with blocks. It has incredible depth, meaning it can be played, and replayed, many times.
The three game modes of Minecraft:
- Survival mode where the goal is to build the world while not dying
- Creative mode where you have unlimited resources and can fly
- Adventure mode where you play custom maps created by other players.
Legos can’t be bad, right?
Minecraft is awesome because:
- it engages gamers in safe, creative game play
- it allows creativity in play
- it doesn’t involve anything adult, grotesquely violent or sexual.
A concern for parents is:
- the replay-ability of Minecraft. Small goals + LOTS of options = hours of dopamine hits.
- It’s innovation is drive towards driving play-time up.
- Legos allow all the same creativity without requiring a screen
- Monitor your gamer’s play time.
- Have conversations about how long they think they should play and what healthy limits to play-time look like.
- Be aware of who they are playing with if they are allowed to play online.
- Consider their pre and post-play behavior to look for changes or concerning signs of unhealthy gaming behavior.
Minecraft: Appropriate for gamers with healthy gaming habits
Platform: Android, PlayStation 4, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox One
Rated: for ages 10+
Gaming Discussions: Keep the lines of communication open with your gamer.
Discuss with your gamer:
- What they are currently building and how they built it (see what interests them)
- What they plan on building next. (Minecraft players often have a vision of what stye hope to accomplish)
- Who they play with online (if you allow this). What have they accomplished together?
- In Genesis 1 God created everything we see. This world was his personal Minecraft: Every sunrise, every molecule, operates on the rules he designed.
- How do we see the creative nature of God reflected in the creativity of this game?
Minecraft: Grade Details
Parent Approved Hero: 8
- Your hero is basically a homesteader in an open-play world.
- Your goal is to survive. There isn’t a lot of character development (or plot) in this one.
- There is an option in story-mode to develop enough resources to go and fight the source of evil in your world.
Appropriate Combat: 9
- While you can fight others, you can also choose to play the entire game without fighting.
- Fighting in story mode is cartoonish with no blood. Imagine lego pieces fighting each other.
Constructive Language: 10
- There is no swearing in the story-mode for this game.
- Online gameplay can very widely.
- Online servers frequently have lewd comments or language that is not welcoming or appropriate for young audiences.
- Consider this a 4/10 for online gameplay.
Spiritually Sound: 5 – SPOILER ALERT
- To beat story mode you must build a portal to a place called The End.
- Characters called Endermen live there who can be scary. They teleport whenever you look directly at them and stalk your character.
- The Ender Dragon is the final boss and can be scary.
- In Story Mode, some association between The End and the afterlife can be made since it is a dark and dreary place filled with ghost-like creatures (endermen).
Family Safe: 9
- There is no sexuality in the unmodified off-line version
- Some optional skins can be downloaded for characters that are revealing.
- Keep in mind that when you allow your gamer to play online there is far less control of content, conversation, and gaming experience.
- ex: Online players can hijack the left joystick button; if they tap it repeatedly it they can simulate humping or having sex. This is not a designed feature of the game but some online players find humor in it.
Safe for Time and Money : 2
- Minecraft is the definition of a game setup to be addictive:
- small, accomplishable goals
- rewards for every new activity you complete
- Limitless play options:
- short play sessions – but LOTS of total time needed:
- time to beat the storyline: 60+ hours. Completionist take 100+
- Played in other modes, like survival or creative, the game can be played on small chunks but not beaten.
Positive Message: 8
- There are potions in the game that have a certain alchemical or apothecary-like feel to them.
- These include potion of swiftness, potion of strength, and potion of poison.
- There is no actual reference to magic or spirituality.
Alternative Games: (links provided. Click on the game title)