Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are good you’ve heard the word “Minecraft” from the mouth of your tween. Everywhere I go, I see kids playing it, it’s really crazy. What’s incredible about Minecraft is that it has not only captured the attention of the finicky tweens but adults are equally as captivated (as evidenced by its annual MINECON conference, to which my kids want to attend).
Minecraft is a bit difficult to explain. Think of the game like digital Lego, except that all the blocks in the Minecraft world are identical sized cubes. In creative mode, the game is all about building and imagination. There are no limits, you are given all the blocks and resources you need to craft tools, weapons and furniture. This is where my kids spent most of their time. They have built many a castles, hotels, farms, even a YMCA complete with a swimming pool.
The survival mode of the game is all about gathering enough resources to craft the tools and weapons you’ll need to survive and fend off creatures that come out at night to kill you. For example, when you start in a new world, you have nothing but your bare hands. You’ll need to chop down trees with your hands to get lumber blocks. Lumber blocks can build a house. It can also be crafted into tools like an axe that will help chop trees faster. The Minecraft world has lots of caves, perfect for mining minerals such as ore, coal, cobblestone and diamonds. If you have lumber and coal, you can craft a torch. If you have cobblestone and lumber, you can craft a stronger axe, etc.
I guess what I can’t get over about the game is that it looks like an old pixelated video game before graphics became what it is today. Kids don’t seem to care. Personally, love how Minecraft has helped my kids’ imagination skyrocket. They are building, creating, constantly trying to outdo their previous creation. This sure beats out playing Mario any day. And if you think that Minecraft is for boys, think again. Read my daughter’s review of the game.
PC Game – it is here where it originated and according to my kids, the best version of the game. Download game to the PC for $26.95 US.
Xbox 360 – download the arcade game to Xbox which includes game updates. Requires 1,600 Xbox points. You can buy a Xbox card much like a gift card.
Xbox One – coming soon with the new Xbox console. Larger worlds and expanded multi player features.
There are no shortage of Minecraft merchandise found on the web. I was lucky enough to find a green Minecraft shirt for my son for Christmas at Old Navy. Needless to say, it was in short supply. Recently, I’ve found Minecraft merchandise at EB Games also.
Here’s a funny but true story. When I ordered a ice cream cake for my son’s birthday at Baskin Robbins, I asked for something Minecraft decorated. Lucky for me it’s summer as most of the staff are students and they had no problem decorating the cake with Minecraft elements.
Are your kids playing Minecraft? What do they love about the game?
About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.