Minecraft is a massive sandbox game that has been around for over ten years now, long before I had children of my own. I remember sharing the game, split screen, on my Xbox 360, digging myself deep into a mine, on the hunt for diamonds. Though I was never an expert builder, I’ve always found a sense of joy and calm in the game—until someone messes with my mining system, then the gloves are off.
For anyone not familiar with Minecraft, the basics are simple: Dive into the game, start farming materials, and create! You can design anything you can think of—you just might need to dig a bit deeper for better materials. The game comes with a creative, peaceful or difficulty level mode. If you want to battle at night, choose a difficulty. If you want to create without having to hunt for materials, play creative. If you love to dig, but don’t want to fight, choose peaceful mode, and you won’t be attacked!
“You can play anywhere!”
One of the most important things to me about Minecraft is just how versatile the game is. The game has 141 million active players worldwide, across any platform you can think of. In a recent interview with CGMagazine, Minecraft’s Chief Storyteller, Lydia Winters, chatted about how important it was to Mojang to remain accessible to everyone, “We’ve worked really hard to make sure that players can play anywhere they are, because that’s part of allowing Minecraft to be forever, being on as many platforms as possible. So, I think it’s around 20 platforms.”
I personally prefer the Xbox Series X myself, with my son enjoying the Nintendo Switch version. But my niece and nephew like to bring their game on the go with their tablets and cell phones. You can play anywhere!
Not only does Minecraft give you the freedom of platform choices, but the team at Mojang Studios made sure it is easy to get started. Lydia gave some great advice on the best ways to dive in with your children. “I think that a starting place is always to let your child lead you through their Minecraft world. What I love about Minecraft in the classrooms is, it allows students to become the teachers. And then if you think about parents and kids, suddenly your kid gets to teach you something and tell you about this world that they love. I always encourage going into their world and sitting with them as a starting place.”
“Minecraft is such a massive game that appeals to people of all platforms, ages, and levels of experience.”
Whether you’re teaching your littles how to play or jumping in yourself to play with your more experienced kids or on your own, no one feels left out. Lydia noted, “I think playing it, it’s really simple to learn. It’s hard to master, so you can continue playing for a lot of time, but it’s not too difficult to learn. We’ve worked on projects with people around the world who are not typically using computers on a day-to-day basis. They are able to jump into Minecraft and sort of build out their ideas pretty quickly, so it’s not very difficult.”
I play Minecraft on my own more than with my kids. It’s really a game that all ages and skill levels can enjoy. As a parent, this is one of the games I recommend you dive into first with your children, it’s even used in classrooms with Minecraft: Education Edition to tell and create stories and practice problem-solving. Be prepared, because you will be digging them out of a lot of deep holes—often—to start. But if your children are a bit more experienced with a controller (or mouse and keyboard), you might get to skip that lesson altogether.
Minecraft is such a massive game that appeals to people of all platforms, ages, and levels of experience. In our family, it has managed to bring us together through video games outside our usual Fortnite Battle Royale, giving us the chance to create, work together and design a virtual world that is all our own. To be clear, I still have my own world that we don’t let the six-year-olds touch, but it’s been a bonding experience all the same.
If you’re not a gamer but want to get involved with what your children are doing, I highly recommend Minecraft to start. If you are a gamer, you probably already have your own seed somewhere, so start a new one with your kids!