Minecraft: The Sandbox Game for Parents and Children Alike

Minecraft screen shot

Minecraft is one of the best video games to play as a family. Learn the benefits of playing Minecraft with your children & what it can teach your kids.

After surfing the internet for long enough, it’s difficult for the geeky adult (Geekus Oldus) to not see a screenshot or two of the game Minecraft. But, upon a single screenshot, it’s difficult to interpret what is actually going on in the game, or the benefits that can come from playing this game.

This is Jordan’s first article for GeeksRaisingGeeks.com. You can learn more about here on her bio page here.

Benefits of Families Playing Minecraft Together

Minecraft, a PC game released in 2009 (and recently released on Xbox 360 and Android), is a sandbox game. If you aren’t familiar with the term, this means that the game has a very open world in which the character can explore and do essentially whatever they wish without worrying about a structured game progression like most games on the market.

In the game, you are spawned in a randomly generated world consisting of several biomes with one implied objective: survive. Throughout the game, you can collect various resources to build tools and structures to help your survival, such as collecting wood to make a shelter and coal to make torches to fend off the zombies and skeletons that begin attacking once the sun falls.

Though this game initially attracted young adults, people of all ages have begun playing Minecraft due to the endless possibilities this game allows.

  • Want to build a castle up to the clouds?
  • Want to have a small farm with crops, cows, sheep, and more?
  • Want to explore hidden dungeons, fight monsters, and find treasure?

All of this and more is possible in Minecraft.

But, I believe there is something else that this game offers. Minecraft offers the chance for parents and children to interact on an equal level.

Seeing as the game offers the ability to easily create a multiplayer LAN world, it is easy for an entire family to play in their own world and interact with each other in a way that isn’t possible out of game.

Minecraft allows children to explore their creativity as a team effort.

As I previously mentioned, it is possible to build giant structures, such as castles, from materials collected in game. If you’re like me, you build just a simple shelter to avoid the hordes of zombies that crave your flesh.

But, other players, such as my 15-year-old brother, spend hours creating elaborate structures. Some players take immense pride in the structures they create by themselves, and others work in teams to create the grandest villages and cities imaginable.

Here you see just an example of what can be accomplished in game.

minecraft castle

With endless opportunities, it’s possible to plan out fantastic structures with your children, and then proceed to build them! Talk to your kids and find out things they would like to build in game, and then find a way to build it as a group effort.

Perhaps one child can go scout out materials in a mine, while the other digs out the area they would like to build the structure!

Then, as a team you all can work together in completing a huge task, and then also celebrating together once your beautiful structure is completed.

Minecraft teaches that each mistake is a learning experience.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I have rage quit from this game more times than I can count. Whether I mined straight upwards and had a stack of gravel fall down on my character (gravel is one of the few resources in the game that is affected by gravity, which makes it fall when there is nothing holding it up), or I mined straight downwards and fell into a pool of lava, I’ve died and lost all of my items more times than I can count.

Being the mature adult I am, I always take a breath and continue on (I wish…).

Here’s a screen I’ve seen way too often while in game:

you died minecraft

I have actually shut my laptop and refused to play the game for a while due to dying in game, despite it not the mature immediate solution. Though, I always eventually end up returning to the game.

The nice thing about the game is that even if you lose all of your items, you can rebuild them and carry on.

There’s no permanent death in the game (unless you are playing in Hardcore mode, which doesn’t allow respawning); you might be put back a bit if you lose valuable items when you die, such as diamond tools (diamond is one of the rarest resources in the game and can be used to make very strong and durable items), but it’s not hard to move on from this.

Each time that I’ve died, I learn something from that experience. This is a great opportunity to teach kids that it’s all right to have to start over. Yes, they’ll probably be upset (I sure was each time!), but this gives them a chance to figure out what they did wrong. Each time they die in game, they’ll know more about how to rebuild, and how to do and not do certain things to continue in game!

Here you see one of the most dreaded in-game enemies (that has killed my character more times than I can count), the Creeper! When you see this little guy coming after you, you had better run, otherwise you’ll be in for an explosive surprise!

minecraft creeper

So, give Minecraft a try! With limitless possibilities in a completely unique world, this game promises for hours of entertainment and family bonding. You can find out more information straight from the source here!

And if you’d like to buy it, here are the various versions available on Amazon.com:

Still not convinced? Check out this Minecraft parody of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” to see some gameplay!

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Comments

  1. I totally agree that playing Minecraft with our kids is a good thing. We can teach them how to play, guide them what are neccessary in their life. I, myself, love to guide my little son to play because I recognize that he can enhance his imagination. Sometimes, he shows me what he did in this world. Everything is so cool. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts here! Love it!

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