What if I told you parents that there was a way to grow your creativity, learn how to survive in
situations where you have to think on your feet, strategize to help you have a good plan in other real life situations, Learn how to plan out next steps while being aware of your resources, and learn how to leverage your resources? You can do all those things in Minecraft.
But how does Minecraft teach you those things ?
In survival, you need to think on your feet on what to do next when a mob of zombies is attacking you all at once! This forces you to think about your surroundings,and your resources, and the situation you are in. When you think about these things you are able to apply your abilities in the best way possible to move forward. But without this awareness, you could be actively moving forward down the road, only to find out you’ve taken the wrong path like trying to Find diamonds at layer 20!(they don’t come along until layer 16-0!).
You grow your creativity by playing in creative, you can build whatever you want! And that gives you a big opportunity to explore and create and that is exactly what you do to build your creativity. Creativity is a skill in which you learn to think outside the box, and to create what has never been created before. This can be hard in real life with financial limitations, resource limitations, etc. But in Minecraft you are free to create and build without having to be retrained.
You strategize in Minecraft by deciding what to do with the materials you have around you. If you have fish next to your house, you need to learn how to get the materials to make a fishing rod, and get them. Mining, crafting, fishing, and hunting are all things you can do in Minecraft, but you first need the tool. This is when strategizing comes in.
Leveraging your resources means if you only have 2 diamonds you are able to make a sword or hoe. But if you save up and get one more diamond, you are able to make a pickaxe. When you have a really good pickaxe, you are then able to get more diamonds faster. So you might want to save your diamonds instead. When you are in a desert and come across a zombie, you can use falling sand and gravel to crush them. And when you’re near a cliff, you can use a fishing rod to reel the zombie in to push them off a cliff. If you have eggs, snow balls, or water you can use those to knock them back!
Another great skill you learn is how to survive. When you first start out in Minecraft, you need to get wood or else you won’t get anywhere. If you are stuck in the woods, getting wood is probably a good first step. With knowledge and experience from landing in the middle of nowhere with nothing, you would probably get much further than if you never had played Minecraft. Starting from scratch, and surviving on your own is something that doesn’t happen very often...but it still does. You need to know how to get food, build shelter, find water, and gather the resources around you to survive.
The last, but probably one of the most important skills you can learn from Minecraft is planning. You learn this by knowing what to do when it's daytime. Do you want to craft, mine or whatever you want! For example, I made a house creative that I made a spreadsheet with wood floors, carpet, even a flower pot!
All of these skills are all extremely important to learn in life. They are also things you don’t usually learn in school. Minecraft is a video game. Minecraft can also be addictive sometimes. But Minecraft is also a tool we can use to develop these core skills that cannot be put into a standardized form. For parents Minecraft is not usually looked at in a positive light, and for kids, it usually is. But instead of arguing we recommend another approach. Remember that kids learn best when having fun...so if your kid loves playing Minecraft then perhaps you should to...and while you play together look for ways to use Minecraft as a tool for learning.
Thank you for your interest!
By Benjamin Goldstein
Special thanks to Sumay and Aila McPhail