Minecraft – where do I start as a parent?

minecraft-1106252_640There are many aspects of culture that we, as parents, consciously introduce to our children.  Those are the ones I’ve written about so far on this blog, like taking them to a museum or reading a book.  However there are some parts of culture that creep up on you from the children’s side, which I, as a parent now need to learn more about.

Minecraft is one of those things and I’d like to ask for feedback from other parents.  My daughters are just a few months off 7 and 9 years old.  My eldest daughter has less interest in technology, preferring (like I did at her age!) to have her nose in a book.  My youngest daughter though is increasingly obsessed with Minecraft – but has not yet ever played it.  Her interest comes from seeing some videos on YouTube of walkthroughs and more recently, watching her cousin (10) and a friend’s son (8) playing it.  She has been begging to be allowed to play herself.

I’ve told her that I’ll look into it – but that IF I allow it, it will be something she will have as a treat when her room is tidy, chores are done and that there will be a strict time limit.  She immediately “surprised” me by not only folding and putting away her own washing but for that of the rest of the family!  My husband and I think we could use this to our advantage!

Seriously though, I’m not sure where to start as a parent.  The two things that come to mind are that it’s addictive and that it involves interaction with other players.  Am I right?  Today, another parent (and the 8 year old boy) told me I can download a version on the iPad which doesn’t involve interaction with others – I feel that as I can’t supervise her constantly as she plays (and don’t think I should), I don’t want the ability for her to chat to others.  Re the addiction, she has a very focussed personality, and I could see that this can also be an advantage I should encourage an outlet for.  Just today, when I visited her classroom unexpectedly, she was so absorbed in reading her book that she didn’t even see me standing in front of her.  I wish I had that kind of focus!  We have learned that by giving her set time limits, with 5/10 minute warnings so that she can round off activities seems to work, so I’m hoping it will with Minecraft too.

I’m going to go do some googling but thought I’d start with a post here, as I feel that it’s something relevant to culture and kids – certain things permeate our culture, popping up regularly whether we like it or not, and this is a good example of how it seems to get to a point where you need to educate yourself about it.

Comments welcome!


Some links that look useful which I will look into shortly…