With Minecraft being one of the most popular video games ever released (it’s the top-grossing video game of all time), it’s highly likely that your 7-year-old child is either currently playing it or is begging you to let them play it.
But what kind of content does Minecraft exactly contain? And is it ok to let your 7-year-old play Minecraft without supervision?
Is Minecraft suitable for 7-year olds? Minecraft is rated 7+, meaning that the game is recommended for children from the age of 7 upwards. The PEGI system classifies a 7+ rating as a game that “contains non-realistic looking violence towards fantasy characters (…) that could be upsetting to very young children.”
This age rating does not define the difficulty of the game however, as Minecraft can range from Easy to very Difficult depending on the difficulty setting set before or changed during the game.
Based on the age rating and the feedback of parents around the globe, Minecraft is ok for 7-year olds, but as with any decision on media, the final say should be your own decision as a parent.
Our Minecraft courses for 7-year olds and up
We know how hugely popular Minecraft is with 7-year olds around the UK and have actually created one of our summer camps around the topic. It’s grown to become one of our most popular camps, being aimed at kids age 7 years and up.
To find out more, go check out the FunTech Minecraft with Mods course.
How 7-year olds play Minecraft
Minecraft is a ‘sandbox game’, meaning that it has no exact objective or end goal, it is entirely open to you to do and create pretty much anything you want.
Using the 1×1 coloured blocks as building materials, you can either have a survival experience surviving the elements and wild animals and monsters of the forest or try and build the biggest structure you can.
You may have already heard of the massive and complex structures people have built in Minecraft over the years, from recreations of famous landmarks, unique castles and grand stately homes and even fully working computers.
Is Minecraft good for 7-year olds?
Because of the seemingly endless creative freedom Minecraft allows you, many people say that it can be a useful tool to allow children to develop both creative and practical skills by playing it.
In fact, we recently published a blog post which spoke about how Minecraft can be good for 7-year olds in helping them define a later career in life. You can read that here.
Some schools have even incorporated it into their syllabus in order to make learning more engaging for the technological generation.
Is Minecraft Violent?
But what about the game itself? It is understandable to be concerned about the content that your child is being exposed to, with some popular video games being incredibly bloody and violent.
While real-life violence is very rarely attributed to playing violent video games, it is a valid concern that your 7-year child may get scared of or desensitised to the violence on-screen.
Thankfully, while Minecraft does contain some light combat, it is a very bloodless and optionally pacifistic game. Monsters such as zombie and skeletons can generate (or ‘spawn’) into the game world to attack the player, as well as the well-known Creepers which sneak up on you and explode.
To fight these monsters off you need a sword, shield or a bow and arrow to kill them, whereupon they will disappear in a puff of smoke and potentially leave some useful materials such as arrows, bones, zombie meat or even TNT that can be used in crafting.
When attacking these monsters, heats come away from them instead of blood to show that damage has been taken without showing actual bodily damage.
If you are still concerned about your 7-year-old taking part in any combat, this is easily done by changing the difficulty in the game settings to ‘peaceful’. The peaceful difficulty prevents any monsters from spawning into the world and allows the player to regain health bars that stops them from dying if they take any damage from falling or eating anything poisonous.
Peaceful mode still allows you to kill creatures such as pigs, cows, sheep and chickens, which drop meat, leather, wool and feathers when killed. Killing animals for meat in the game isn’t compulsory though, as there are lots of fruits, vegetables and other foods that can be easily grown and eaten to regain health.
If you are still worried about your 7-year-old playing Minecraft, then there are ways you can purposefully tailor the experience of the game to best suit your child.
Before starting a new game, you can lock the ability to change the level of difficulty within that game. This means that if you set it onto ‘peaceful’ your child cannot change the difficulty in the middle of the game. This peaceful setting, as previously mentioned, prevents enemies from spawning into the game and also prevents the player from taking damage from falling from high places or starving if you forget to eat.
Additionally, when signing up for Minecraft the site will ask for your age. If your child registers their real age and they are below 13 then certain features such as making in-game purchases through their account or changing the settings from within the game.
For more information, take a look at our Minecraft safety guide for parents.