Monday, December 11, 2017

Minecraft - A Journey Through Tutorials and Let's Plays

Minecraft building

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Do your children like Minecraft? Do you like Minecraft? Even though the game has been out for 8 years, it is still a very popular game. My stepson first introduced it to me in 2012 when he wanted it for the Xbox 360. Let me show you the journey I took on YouTube as I looked for tutorials on the game. Often as parents, we do not understand how our children can go from watching an approved Disney YouTube video to a music video with inappropriate language. The Internet, including YouTube, is a rabbit hole where one thing leads to the next. It is not all bad but depending on what you think is right for your family, you will need to monitor your children's views online.

Minecraft pyramidI started watching Minecraft tutorials on YouTube as I started playing the game myself. I found The Black Belt Panda and Paul Soares Jr (PSJ). While watching PSJ, I found my way to Complete the Monument (CTM) maps, Vechs and Zisteau. From there to Vintagebeef and the Mindcrack Server. I spent a number of years watching most of the members of the Mindcrack Server. During that time I have watched a variety of games played by the YouTubers I had started following and found several new games that I also enjoyed (like Slime Rancher). I have also found many other Let's Players to watch via their association with those the Mindcrack Server as well as found some new games for our family to enjoy. Since I watched a lot of these men and women on YouTube, I was also able to monitor to a degree which channels our teen was watching to help decide on appropriateness of material (language, subject matter, etc).

Minecraft castle

Minecraft is a great game because it allows people to use their imagination. You can build fantasy based buildings or replicate real world places.

You can work out geometry problems or learn coding as you create a mod for the program. You can meet people from around the world as you play on servers and practice your language skills. There are also many different official and unofficial books to read and to use when teaching your children. Schools also use Minecraft: Education Edition in the classroom for many of the reasons I have already mentioned.

So if your children enjoy computer or console games and this is the one they play a lot, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Everything should be done in moderation but at least with this game it is allowing for imagination and creativity to be fostered.

Please Note: Some of the YouTube channels discussed in my blog are not appropriate for all age levels. We have allowed our teenager to watch some of these playlists and channels but not all of them. Please view any videos before or with your child. Also just because someone is family-friendly does not mean that all the games on their channel may necessarily family-friendly or align with your views.

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