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What You Didn’t know Your Minecraft Could Do For Child 

21462015
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What You Didn’t know Your Minecraft Could Do For Child 

When it comes to gaming, so many controversial ideas and opinions start flying in the air from pretty much everybody with the majority of it surfacing from either parents who are getting devastated with the amount of time their children spend every day on playing computer games or professional psychologists who are

But there’s so much more to Minecraft. As simple and basic as the environment of the game and its gameplay may initially appear, the truth is that whether willingly or unwillingly, the designers have buried a number of hidden gems inside their game which happen to significantly develop a broad sense of creativity and critical thinking within the child and helps them pick all that up unconsciously and through cognitive mechanisms.

What’s more is the fact that these hidden tools are being massively overlooked by both the educators and parents; which is leading them to further push their children away from playing such fruitful games and toward tedious school subjects. After all, the human brain is known to be one of the most complex processing units in the entire universe and is able to control its corresponding system through two distinct processes known as conscious and subconscious behaviour. 

Considering just that fact alone, the question which now arises is that if Minecraft is so pointless, how come my child’s brain technically glues him to the game for hours and hours? It always starts with “mum just one more block please” and then boom another 3 hours are gone.

While I’m not going to try and cover up or neglect the fact that video games are rather addictive and this element is being purposefully designed and integrated within games to not only rocket the playing hours of the end consumers in order to to boost the statistics regarding popularity of the game, but also to plant a seed of curiosity as well as anticipation and expectancy for the next season or the version of the game to come. However, identifying the fine line between getting addicted to Minecraft and subconsciously continuing the game because the brain has identified benefits in it are two different things entirely. 

Without having sufficient knowledge and awareness about this situation it is easy for the parents to start leaning toward considering this as being the former.

As complicated as this may sound like, in most of the cases there is no need for requesting assistance from a professional child psychologist for distinguishing one from the other. That is actually the main purpose of this article as well to create awareness about Minecraft and where it can lead the children to if used correctly and with proper supervision.

Let’s dive in!

Create Awareness About Natural Resources

minecraft

Minecraft is a game that drives the player to work hard, and learn to value hard work! Well nothing in Minecraft comes for free and I’m not talking about the common currency of Dollars and Pounds, but rather about the resources! In this game your child will learn how things are acquired in the real world and used to create other things such as food, furniture and buildings and structures.

Minecraft offers 3 main tools for acquiring the resources that are necessary for the player to, well, play the game. These are Mining, Farming and Hunting.

The Mining tool helps your child to get a basic sense of what minerals are, how valuable they are in terms of their usabilities, where they come from and how they are mined -well not exactly HOW they are mined but they will get a very basic idea. For example, your child will discover a certain material such as coal and be totally blank about what it is or what they can do with it. After spending some time on the matter they will realize it can be used as a resource for other activities such as cooking or can be used to make other things such as torches. So basically coal makes fire!

But that’s not all there is to mining. It’s not just going into the depth of mountains or under the ground to break rocks and get coal or metals; it is basically breaking any form of block that is present in the game including the trees and picking sand from the ground to earn sand crumbles. 

In Farming they will be learning how our crops system works. They will get to experiment and learn about how each crop and plant requires different conditions and has certain specific needs in order to grow most efficiently. Let’s have a simple example. Your child will have to dig a hole and plant seeds of some sort. They will witness that their plants will grow much better and faster if their farm is near water supplies such as rivers or water banks. The plants will also not grow if there is not sufficient light in the area. This way they will be learning the basics of growing plants in a safe and virtual world that is way more comprehensible than just putting a bean in a wet bag! The difference being, their children will have to wait for days to see their beans grow, if they do anyways, while they can receive the same education in less than an hour.

Hunting has been one of the most essential parts of the game. It is where children will grasp some initial idea about where food comes from. Your children will learn where animal products such as leather, meat or feathers come from. They will better grasp the concept of hunting animals for satisfying our needs.

Technically, your child will always be learning a new thing about how nature works and how they can extract and get their hands on several natural goods and products.

Awareness of Environment

What You Didn’t know Your Minecraft Could Do For Child 

The world incorporated in this game is just massive. In fact Minecraft is known to be one of the largest open world games on any platform. The creators of the game have put together  a map that is just like a big continent; there are seas, lakes, forests, mountains, icelands, deserts and so much more. This makes getting lost in the map a very common thing to happen if you are not aware of your surroundings. The natural solution that children often come up with is following or creating landmarks. 

For example one may make a very tall building near their settlement so they can see it when they wander away from a good distance. Maybe their house is near a certain hill or mountain or a certain structure that was already made before you wanted to start building there. 

When moving down to tunnels for mining or when exploring underground areas that are too confusing and maze like, the player can leave behind items to assist them for returning to their primary position or can light torches on the right side of the path so later when they see the torches on their left, they would know that they are going back and are on the right track.

This helps children with their environmental and geographical skills. They will have a sense of how they should look at their city relative to their house or would have a good sense of their surroundings when going hiking.

What Does What!

One of the most important things that your child will be learning through playing Minecraft is using the right tools for the job at hand. This may sound too basic but let me explain.

Have you ever seen someone using a flat head screwdriver for tightening a phillips-head screw? You probably have! Now is this a big deal? Well as long as you are neither damaging the screw head nor the screw driver, nor the thing that you are trying to fix and that thing becomes legitimately functional again, it really isn’t a big deal but what matters here is the mindset. There are countless adults out there who have the mindset of “hey, if I can get it done, why bother using the right tool?”. This thought process is wrong on so many levels but we are going to leave that for now.

This however will not work in Minecraft. There are quite a few tools and gears incorporated in the game which serve a certain purpose. For example, one can not use the Farming tool for mining. What this initially does is setting a certain discipline in the behaviour of the child by dictating the fact that they should only use the correct tool that corresponds with the activity at hand.

What’s more is that some of these gears such as the furnace are even more educational than they look. For example, many children will realise that glass is made up of heated sand when it comes to using the furnace which is mindblowing for most children by the way. Or melting the ores they have previously mined through mining will produce metals.

They will also learn what they can use their products for. Is it something they can use for building? Or is it a wearable? Or can they transform it into some kind of food that they can consume in order to survive? This way they will be learning about the value of different things, learn to identify and manage the purpose of everything they are working for and prioritize their goals accordingly.

In less than a week your child will be telling you how TNT is made of gunpowder and how they should be making some of those because they need to access a certain area to, say, mine coal or that metal because this structure they are building requires it. And that maybe they are going to farther areas to mine some coal and get some wood.

Math Time!

One of the skills that will be tailored and practiced over and over in Minecraft is Math! Solving mathematical problems is a skill that only develops through consecutive and continuous practice. Of course we are not talking about trigonometry and integrals here but rather simple mathematical operations that primary students learn in school. This is one of the ways for turning all those boring unpractical and unlogical theories into some form of fun and trouble-free practice.

What students learn in school is about this guy who is buying 13 boxes of 18-piece watermelons and somehow he is magically unable to count them and so the student has to calculate how many watermelons the guy has! And they will be lucky if it ends there because most of the time it does not! Most often, the watermelon guy is not only unclear about why he is buying such amounts of such a heavy fruit, but also has no idea how much they should be paying! Now does all that sound fun to you? I’m sure it doesn’t!

But Minecraft has naturally solved this problem of tediousness. After a couple of hours of playing the game, your child will realize that they are going to need a certain amount of material to build a simple house. They have to calculate the circumference of the area their house is going to cover and then account for the number of blocks they are going to need to cover the wall and the roof.

When they head out to chop some wood, they will realize that every lug will produce 4 blocks of wood and so they will have to add that to their calculations as well. This is just one simple example of how your child can have their math skills boosted just by playing Minecraft. Everything that they can build pretty much follows some sort of similar calculations.

Creativity and Efficiency

What You Didn’t know Your Minecraft Could Do For Child 

When building a certain structure one can not simply consider the aesthetics of it. Generally speaking, any blocks that are incorporated within the game have their own uses and purposes. This means your child will have to turn up their creativity in order to boost efficiency. It is as if they have an unlimited supply of Legos that do not just sit on their desks but rather, once put together in the form of a Batmobile, it would actually function as one! Now how interesting is that!

The game is basically created to push the limits of creativity for the player. After building a couple of messy houses and farming areas that work poorly, your child will start thinking about what they have done wrong or why the things that they have put effort into are not yielding results. They will then start to experiment with the environment and put a number of variables into their equation to achieve their desired results.

Let’s take Farming as an example again. After realizing they will need to grow some of the resources through farming activities they will get to the task of creating a farm for  the purpose. Now in their first attempts they may be choosing a place that is not as close as it should be to a water supply or the  soil may even be unfertile due to several reasons. The lighting conditions may not be optimum either. As your child moves forward they will learn to fine tune their farm according to the needs of the plant they are willing to produce.

Now whatever you happen to be building in the game, whether it is a house, a trap, a farm or a castle, you will have to level up your creativity . There’s simply no other choice. The first and second and third designs are always too basic to do the job and so need to be modified or redesigned entirely. One of the major areas which pushes this sense of creativity even further is the fact that what the child is building has to be effective, efficient and good looking at the same time. It is only human nature to want to possess and create nice things with superior aesthetics, not just an ugly castle.

The Creative World AKA God Mode

What You Didn’t know Your Minecraft Could Do For Child 

The creative mode is one of the most important modes of the game. It is a place where the player is officially invincible and has an unlimited supply to all of the resources available within the game without needing to mine, farm or craft any of them. The blocks, plants, tools, you name it! On top of all that the player is able to fly and freely roam around the map at any height without having to create stairs and pathways.

By now you should be asking this question “But hey they have literally removed three quarters of everything you just said was good for my child”. That is not true however, the creative mode opens quite a few different doors without closing the previous ones.

First of all an unlimited supply of resources doesn’t mean you can no longer make them by yourself. In Creative Mode, you can still carry out all the activities you would have in the Normal Mode such as building structure, do farming, and even head for boss fights. So your child would still benefit from everything we have discussed before.

What the Creative Mode does is that it allows the player to maximise their creativity without having to worry about running out of resources. The ability to fly also provides an edge for the player in order to access the exterior of their structure for further design twiks.

There is also a Flat Earth option in the Creative Mode which eliminates all the thumps of the map and makes it absolutely flat. This option is designed to help remove the limitations for the creatives who are only willing to spend their entire time building magnificent structures or for the newbies who want to get a sense of how everything works before heading into the real game.

A Step Further

By now you should already have a good idea about what Minecraft is and how fruitful it is compared to other games out there. What we recommend is for you to allow your children to play this game within a limited amount of time so they can benefit from all the above mentioned advantages. Take note that there are so many other ones that we have not dived into.

Now you could just leave things here or, even better, you could move everything forward by asking help from the experts. I mean if there are so many benefits in doing something, there must be some experts out there who can push things even further right?

Well that is Geniuscamp.

In Geniuscamp we offer a variety of courses that revolve around Minecraft such as “Beginner to Minecraft” where your child learns all the basics of Minecraft through a professionally tailored programm. In our course “Minecraft Java Edition” your children will learn how to modify the world of Minecraft through Coding in Javascript. If you are unsure about what coding is, check out our article “Coding, What It Is & What It Isn’t” to learn more about programming.

What You Didn’t know Your Minecraft Could Do For Child 

Now head over to the top of the page to learn more about our courses!

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