The video game ‘ Minecraft ‘ has become a true phenomenon among the younger audience, and not so young. All children and adolescents today fervently consume everything related to this video game from the Mojang company. ‘Minecraft’ started out as a modest game created by a Swedish developer, and today, just four or five years after its launch, not only is it available on practically all video consoles, mobiles and computers, but there is also merchandising of all kinds related with him (LEGO, stickers, board games, collectible figures, clothes …). In addition, this is also the most played game on YouTube by very famous content creators such as El Rubius, Vegetta777 or Willyrex .
All this makes ‘Minecraft’ the game desired by all children, now, is it recommended that our children play ‘Minecraft’ ?
RECOMMENDED AGE OF ‘MINECRAFT’
It would be interesting at this point to talk about PEGI, even if only as an introduction. The PEGI is the age classification system that video games have in Spain . In this way, on the cover of the video games we will find a well recognizable logo, which marks the minimum age that a child must be to play the video game in question. It is important to take this age code into account when buying any video game for our son. It must be borne in mind that the main consumers of video games today are adults, so that a good part of the available titles are focused on adults. In the case of ‘Minecraft’ the PEGI recommends its use in people over 7 years old, which indicates that it is a game with a low violence load and without explicit scenes or foul language.
To tell the truth, ‘Minecraft’ is a highly recommended game for our children. Video games are a form of leisure that requires activity from the user. A person who watches television occupies a more passive role in front of the screen as a receiver of information. This reception of information requires a certain elaborative activity – it depends on the program being watched – but in video games the implication of who is playing is total, since the player is the main actor in the events that take place on the screen. This is why we must break the myth that video games are negative for children. Consumed in moderation, like any other form of leisure, they can have very positive effects on young people, not only as entertainment, but also as an instrument to develop manipulative, social or narrative skills. ‘Minecraft’ has a lot of all of this.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF ‘MINECRAFT’
You will see that ‘Minecraft’ has many benefits for children to play, and it takes us away from the most controversial content that can scare us from other games:
1. The manipulative ability
‘Minecraft’ is essentially a building game. Inspired by LEGO , what he proposes is a vast set of tools from which the player can build buildings and objects. The main premise is to collect materials of all kinds that can be combined to obtain new material materials and create new tools.
This forces the player to remember combinations, put them into practice, and reflect on the effects actions have. It is also possible to build, like a block game, practically any structure that passes through our imagination, which implies exercising visuospatial capacities and the handling of basic and complex concepts of geometry and movements with perspective.
2. Imagination to power
But surely one of the most interesting points of ‘Minecraft’ is that it is a game without defined objectives. In this way it is not a story with a beginning and an end that is told in a linear way, but rather it is a blank book about which players create their own stories. In this sense, it has a lot of toy , since to create and narrate these stories the imaginative component of the player is necessary.
3. Social component
Players share their worlds and their stories, so he also encourages promoting that each person who passes through ‘Minecraft’ tries to share their creations with others. Thus, a huge community has been formed throughout the world that promote the creation of content in ‘Minecraft’. This is an eminently social game in which you share without necessarily receiving anything in return.
4. Metagame, exploring beyond the game console
‘Minecraft’ is a video game that offers very little information to players. It is a title from which new things will always be learned , and which is constantly adding new features. Thus, to learn how to squeeze ‘Minecraft’ it is almost mandatory to comment things with friends about it or search for information on the net. All this forces them to play ‘Minecraft’ without playing ‘Minecraft’, and teaches players, especially the youngest, to explore the internet to learn about the game. Learning in which the person takes an active role , such as searching for data on the web on a topic, is meaningful and deep learning. ‘Minecraft’ can help kids build that information-seeking habit,
5. An infinite video game (ergo, cheap)
‘Minecraft’ has no definite beginning, nor does it have an end. Returning to the parallelism of LEGO toys, in the video game ‘Minecraft’ you can build and deconstruct as many times as you want.
‘Minecraft’ doesn’t sound like an educational game, but in many ways it is. Children routinely reject educational toys and games because their purpose is too obvious. Thus, they end up identifying the game with an obligation more like doing homework, and not with leisure time. ‘Minecraft’ escapes from that usual corset in the “educational game” tag and is completely playful for the player, which does not prevent it from promoting certain positive exercises in development.
Always, and this is very important with all video games, it is imperative to control, not only the type of video games to which our children spend time, but also the duration of the game sessions. It is also very interesting to play video games with our children , to also directly educate them in the use of this form of leisure.
ARE THERE OTHER GAMES SIMILAR TO ‘MINECRAFT’?
There are other games similar to ‘Minecraft’, but not the same. ‘Terraria’ would be the most similar, although they are very different . It is also construction and exploration, it is less popular than ‘Minecraft’, although we can find toys from this franchise in toy stores. If our son or daughter wants to have one of these two video games for Christmas, birthdays or communion, we can trust them in the line that we have been talking about.
‘Minecraft’ is sold for Wii U, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS Vita, Windows and Mac computers, and Android and Iphone mobiles. The ‘ Terraria ‘ is available on those same consoles and devices, but also on Nintendo 3DS.