Minecraft is a game played passionately by millions of kids (of all ages) all over the world. Moderation is not a word that often fits into that equation, though. Those who play it struggle to keep it moderate and could quickly lose hours, or entire days, in this immersive world. But it’s not a game your kids shouldn’t be playing. Here are 16 reasons why your kids should play Minecraft.
Playing Minecraft has many benefits for children. It increases brain function and cognitive skills like processing speed, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. It also improves social skills and problem-solving skills.
1. Minecraft Increases Future University Success
This may seem counter-intuitive, but the University of Glasgow found that playing Minecraft and similar video games improves the chances of University success. One key component is improved communication skills found in the group that actively played Minecraft. This group of students was also more adaptable and resourceful in their studies, leading to better academic performance.
2. Minecraft Stimulates Creative Centers Of The Brain
Minecraft is often compared to Lego in education circles, and the benefits are similar. When a child creates a new world in Minecraft, they are presented with an unlimited, randomly-generated map consisting entirely of blocks. This gives them endless opportunities to explore their creative potential.
It is this freedom that gets people hooked on Minecraft, but that also stimulates the creative parts of the brain, encouraging kids to think out of the box and find ways to create what they visualize.
3. Minecraft Teaches Project Planning
When faced with this blank canvas, kids playing for the first time want to start building immediately. But their inventory is still empty, and they will have to plan and find ways to get the resources they need to build that picture in their minds. This way, they are taught fundamental project planning skills.
When multiple kids play together, this skill improves even more since now the tasks can be delegated between the group in the most effective way possible. Now it goes beyond “how can I get the resources” to “how can we use all the skills available to get the resources and complete the build even faster.”
4. Minecraft Improves Problem-Solving Skills
All games have this benefit to some extent, but Minecraft approaches it uniquely. Apart from the challenge of finding the resources you need, kids also have to find out how to craft tools and other materials. Survival Mode also poses additional threats in that players must find food, plant crops, and survive threats from attacking mobs that flood the world at night.
The many different types of challenges that Minecraft poses are perfect for stimulating the parts of the brain that solve problems.
5. Minecraft Teaches Logic And Basic Programming
Apart from the standard forms of logic built into the game, Minecraft comes with add-ons (most often provided free of charge by Microsoft) to teach basic coding and programming. As with any form of programming, there are logic decisions involved, like “If I walk five blocks, place one TNT.”
These logic and programming skills are not only useful for a future in information technology, though. The logic and problem-solving aspects are also priceless for improving kids’ math and natural science skills.
6. Minecraft Improves Communication Skills
Whenever kids play in a multiplayer game, communication skills become crucial. Players must communicate their ideas and strategies with other players. This happens both when they are playing in the same room or online through the in-game chat function or Discord calls. They must communicate effectively, or the other players won’t understand, and chaos ensues.
7. Minecraft Encourages Teamwork
Since the kids must work together to achieve their goals, their teamwork skills will also improve. Each player will soon show their particular strengths and weaknesses and find ways for everyone to contribute to the project in a productive way. This is especially priceless as the kids start playing in eSports games or tournaments, where teamwork becomes a vital part of the game.
8. Minecraft Reveals Leadership Qualities
Certain players will start to emerge as “leaders” within the group during the teamwork process. They will instinctively notice the strengths of all players and start encouraging those players to focus on their strengths. When this is done the right way, the other kids will start following this leading, but if it’s done with arrogance, the child will quickly find that good leaders don’t work like that.
9. Minecraft Is Valuable For Autistic Children
As an extension of the communication advantage, autistic children can benefit immensely from playing Minecraft. The game provides a unique platform for connecting and communicating with an autistic child on a level that they can understand and associate with. There are numerous examples of ways that Minecraft has been used to help autistic children to communicate and connect.
10. Minecraft Teaches Resource Management And Financial Skills
Since Minecraft is an infinite world, there are numerous resources available, but some resources are more common than others. Diamonds and emeralds, for example, are difficult to find, but these resources are required to craft some of the most potent tools or trade with villagers. This teaches kids to work sparingly with their resources and only use what they need and nothing more.
11. Minecraft Teaches About Electrical Circuits And Technology
A massive part of Minecraft’s appeal lies in the ability to craft machines and gadgets. Minecraft’s built-in technology, called Redstone, is similar to actual electricity and mechanical technologies, and adequately connecting Redstone devices to complete circuits is essential to make the machines work. These skills can easily be built on to teach just about any electrical or mechanical technology.
12. Minecraft Teaches Perseverance
Some challenges in Minecraft take perseverance, like continuing to mine until you have enough diamonds to craft what you need. As mentioned, some resources are harder to find in the game than others, and players must persevere in order to be rewarded in the end.
13. Minecraft Teaches Patience
Many of the crucial resources in the game take time to prepare, even once you have all the materials you need. There are few things in Minecraft as frustrating as waiting for your food to cook while mobs surround you with only one heart of health left. But this teaches kids to be patient and to understand that some good things take time.
14. Minecraft Gives Confidence
In the Minecraft world, kids don’t have to wait for their parents or ask for permission before deciding. When faced with a challenge, they can make their own choice without any disastrous consequences in the real world. They will quickly see if their choice was the right one or not, which will instill in them the confidence to start making their own decisions in the real world.
15. Minecraft Gives Non-Sporty Kids The Chance To Participate And Excel
Some kids are simply more into sports than others. Some kids just don’t have the interest or physical requirements to participate in any physical sport properly. Being a competitive eSports game, Minecraft allows these kids to also participate in sports matches and even excel at them. It’s even possible to make a full-time career out of eSports after school.
16. Minecraft Makes Kids Competitive
This can be seen as both good and bad since it’s never good to be too competitive. But Minecraft teaches kids the valuable skill of being competitive enough to put in the required effort to get what they want. Nothing in Minecraft comes easy, and in multiplayer environments, you must often compete with other players to get to it first.
This competitiveness is just like real life, where you have to work hard and improve yourself until you have the skills you need to get to where you want to be.
Minecraft has some bad aspects, just like any other video game. Most of the negatives come with obsession and addiction to the game, which can easily be managed by playing in moderation. But while keeping that in mind, there is no reason at all for your kids not to play Minecraft and so many reasons why they should.