Minecraft remains one of the most popular games ever made and is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time. Since its launch in 2011, it has grown to a community of over 91 million players, with a large percentage of them being children and teenagers.
But why do kids love Minecraft so much?
That’s what we’re going to explain in this guide… and keep reading because towards the end you can find out about our various Minecraft summer camps for kids that love playing the game!
The top reasons why kids love playing Minecraft
It is natural for parents to be concerned about how long their children spend playing games, as well as the contents of the games themselves. But many of the reasons why Minecraft is so popular could actually be considered as being beneficial to your child’s development.
This can include engaging their minds creatively, teaching them problem solving techniques and even introducing them to the basics of computer coding.
This guide will help to outline what it is that makes Minecraft so popular, why kids love to play it so much and why that might not necessarily a bad thing.
1. Kids love the unlimited creativity
Minecraft is known as a ‘sandbox’ game, meaning that, unlike most games, it doesn’t have to have an end-goal such as defeating an end of level boss or finding a particular object.
Instead, Minecraft allows the player to choose whatever it is that they want to do, whether it is adventure out and battle monsters, create a farm and trade with local villagers or simply build the largest structure possible.
The basic Minecraft game starts the player off in survival mode, with a health bar that decreases if you take damage, such as from falling, being attacked or simply not eating enough to keep your hunger bar from becoming empty.
However, these settings can be easily changed either before starting the game or in the settings options after the game has started. These settings including what ‘mode’ you can play in, the difficulty of the game and whether or not to allow cheats.
You may have seen pictures online of the creations that some people have managed to create within Minecraft, including recreations of famous landmarks, giant fantasy castles and even fully working computers.
These often take thousands of hours of work by very dedicated players, but it gives you an idea of the kind of things that Minecraft can allow you to do with simple materials.
2. Kids love Creative vs Survival Mode
Kids also love Minecraft due to the different modes they can play it in; creative mode or survival mode.
Survival mode is how the game is usually played and means that the game plays out in the form of a typical video game, with a health and hunger bar that can be affected by not eating or taking damage, such as falling from high places or being attacked.
Once the health bar is completely gone, the player will ‘die’ and will be sent back to thier ‘checkpoint’ (wherever their bed in placed. If they do not have a bed, they will be sent back to the spawn point where they started the game and will have to journey back to find their items.)
Creative mode takes away all constraints that would normally be placed on the player in survival mode. They do not have a health bar, meaning that they cannot be killed, and they have access to an unlimited amount of materials within their menu.
This, along with the ability to fly around the map, makes building structures far quicker and easier, rather than having to find all of the materials themselves from around the map, which can take hours of hard work.
However, many find building structures within survival mode to be far more rewarding because of the increased effort that it takes.
These modes can be changed through using the ‘cheat’ menu, entering a command that allows the player to switch between the modes freely whenever they want.
This only increases the amount of creative freedom given to the player, meaning that they don’t have to create a brand-new world whenever they get tired of either fighting monsters in survival mode or building with unlimited resources in creative mode.
3. Kids love making anything from everything
The basic concept of Minecraft is that everything within the game world is made up of individual 1×1 blocks of material. The ground is made up of dirt blocks, the trees are made up of wood blocks, even the leaves and clouds are made of blocks. There is nothing within Minecraft that isn’t in some way made up of blocks.
Most of these blocks can be ‘broken’ by the player, either by hand or using a tool that they can construct out of materials, such as spades, axes and pickaxes. These blocks can then be re-place within the world, allowing the player to build any kind of structure using anything that you can find lying around, including dirt blocks, rock blocks and even blocks of water (provided you can stop it from flowing away!)
Certain blocks are more easily found than others, some only being able to be made through the combination of other materials or by putting it through the crafting table. For instance, tree blocks can be put onto the crafting table to make wooden plank blocks, and cobblestone can be place within a furnace to create smooth stone blocks.
Minecraft is the ultimate trial and error experience, with no real tutorial or beginners’ level. The player is left up to their own devices to figure out what materials work with each other and what can be put together to create new tools or materials.
4. Kids love to fight monsters
While you may be the only ‘real’ person playing in your Minecraft world, you are definitely not alone. Depending on the difficulty setting of your game, your world will be populated by a variety of NPCs, including villagers who you can trade with, animals who you can use to get meat and other materials, and monsters who will attack you on sight.
Including zombies, skeletons, creepers and endermen, these monsters are nearly always hostile to the player without being attacked or approached. Their mission is to get you, so it is important that you carry a sword, shield or another weapon in order to defend yourself.
Most of these monsters are only able to come out at night or in areas without much light, such as dark forests or underground cave systems and mines, with zombies and skeletons burning to death if they come out into the sunlight.
When slaying monsters, they will give you important experience points and also drop materials such as bones, rotten flesh and even precious jewels that can be used in crafting.
If you aren’t keen on battling monsters, however, this can easily be changed by going into the game settings and switching the game to ‘peaceful’.
This prevents any hostile monsters from spawning within the game, and also automatically refills your health and hunger bars, preventing you from easily dying. However, the harder the game setting the stronger the monsters will be.
5. Kids love coding / modding
The creativity that Minecraft allows doesn’t just stop within the world of the game, the simplicity of the game itself has allowed people to modify, manipulate and code the game to personalise it to their own individual style of play, as well as how it runs and how it looks.
‘Mods’ are a popular facet of video gaming, with nearly all video games having some form of modding community behind it, making different versions of the game either for fun, for experimentation or even to make it operate smoother.
Due to the relative simplicity of Minecraft, it is incredibly easy for kids to learn the basics of coding to mod and change the game to how they want.
One form of modification is through changing the ‘skin’ of the game through different texture packs.
These packs change the appearance of the blocks, giving them now colours and textures to make the world look more realistic, more cartoony or simply changing the colours around to make it more vibrant to look at.
However, most mods can do more than just change the appearance of the game, they can change how the game works altogether.
There are thousands of different mods available online for free, made by a variety of incredibly talented and dedicated players who have managed to change the game into a new experience, including how the inventory system works, generating massive structures and changing how maps work.
We also wrote a guide about how Minecraft teaches kids coding. Worth a look as it will give you further insight into why kids love Minecraft so much.
What kids can learn from Minecraft
Minecraft is a very educational game – here’s 11 reasons why.
You will know already that children can be very quick learners, and, thanks to Minecraft’s relatively simple gameplay, mechanics and coding, it is easy for them to pick up on a number of highly useful skills that can be applied to other hobbies and academic studies in the future.
Because of this, some schools are beginning to incorporate Minecraft into lessons as a way of introducing some of these concepts in a fun and engaging way.
Here’s what they can learn and more reasons why kids love this game.
Learning to code is like learning a language, it gets easier the sooner you’re introduced to it. In today’s digital age schools are increasingly encouraging children to learn how to code so that computing and programming becomes easier to understand and may strike a passion of electronics going forward.
Minecraft’s code is relatively simple and allows you to use the in-game ‘cheat menu’ to spawn blocks, change settings and manipulate the world around them.
Starting a game in Minecraft means being launched straight in with no real tutorial or beginners’ guide, meaning that from step one you have to figure things out for yourself.
Video games have been found to increase people’s problem-solving skills, and this applies to the trial-and-error proves that most players operate on when learning the ins and outs of Minecraft.
Getting across a lake of lava using the blocks around you, finding your way out of a dark cave or figuring out how to mine diamonds using different tools may seem specific to the Minecraft world, but these are all exercising their brains to think more outside the box in every day scenarios.
While most games go through a set path, Minecraft allows you to go anywhere within its almost unlimited 3D world map, meaning that keeping track of where you are currently and where you’ve been, as well as where you want to go is very important.
There are maps you can craft, but mainly you have to navigate via visual landmarks and special awareness. This can increase special awareness, as well as skills in navigation, which could help improve your child’s sense of real-world navigation.
Maths may not seem to apply to a purely visual world, but numbers do play a large part in the way that you interact with Minecraft. Inventory slots, the number of blocks you need to build your project, how long a day and night cycle lasts, what food fills up the health bar a certain amount, as well as the number of materials you need in order to craft a certain number of things.
For instance, it takes three wheat to craft a piece of bread, so you will begin to estimate how many pieces of bread you will be able to craft with the amount of wheat harvested from your farm.
It may not be actively solving complex mathematic problems, but it exercises that part of the brain that can improve basic day-to-day mathematical skills.
Independence and Collaboration
Minecraft is both a single player and a multiplayer game, depending on what kind of server you choose to play on. If your child isn’t confident with working on their own, playing a sandbox game on their own is a great way of encouraging their creativity and trust in their own decisions and ideas without needing reassurance from friends or family.
On the other hand, if your child isn’t comfortable with working in a group, playing collaboratively with others in a multiplayer server can help teach them listening skills, sharing and helping one another.
Typing skills are more important than ever, with the majority of people’s work being done on the computer. Learning how to properly operate a keyboard as well as touch typing are vital skills in all kinds of fields of work.
Minecraft played on the computer is usually played through either the arrow keys or the WSAD keys. However, on multiplayer servers the only form of communication is through a text chatroom, meaning that through typing to keep up with a conversation, ask for help or request items from people can help improve their typing speed and fluency. Even in a single player world, you can change the game through using the ‘cheat’ bar, typing in commands and lines of code.
Minecraft is an incredibly versatile game that allows for creative play whilst introducing its users to a number of different concepts, including coding.
Parents often get worried that their child is wasting their time and brainpower playing computer games; however, while it is often good not to let your child spend too long playing on the computer, some games can be far more beneficial than you may think.
And that’s at the core of why kids love Minecraft so much; it challenges them.
Our Minecraft coding camps
Did you know we run Minecraft summer camps at various locations around the UK? Here’s how our Minecraft coding camps work, with details on the latest courses below.
This creative and fun Minecraft summer camp is packed full of learning, experimentation, problem solving and creativity.
Once your child has mastered the secrets of Minecraft such as brewing potions and conquering the Nether – they will learn how to Mod a variety of different items that will take their Minecraft skills way beyond the basics.
Redstone is Minecraft’s equivalent of electricity. We start by teaching how to use this energy to create the different logic gates.
Your child will then learn how these logic gates can be combined to create different circuits and complex electronic items such as calculators, elevators and more. They’ll use all the skills they learn to design and build an amazing adventure course full of challenges, surprises and puzzles that players must navigate through!