Microsoft and Minecraft and Training Kids

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119676

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Microsoft and Minecraft and Training Kids

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    I have a semi-liberal view on game playing. I have allowed my children to play games when they are under the age required due to me applying parental guidance and knowledge. Sometimes that means they only play a game in a particular mode or even with the sound muted. Others may find me lacking in my parental responsibilities, however, I do not want either of my children have the world as it truly is hidden from them only for a big reveal on their 18th birthdays.

    This might appear to not tie in with the editorial but I wanted to express my belief that children need the freedom to explore.

    This is true for creativity (in a technical manner through Minecraft, for example, or with slightly more social aspects through SIMs say) and also play.

    On the other hand I am not sure that it was healthy when I had a rare 30 minutes on this Sunday afternoon playing GTA V that there was some child with an American accent (so possibly about 10am Sunday morning for him) who was about 8 years old (?) playing a deathmatch screaming whenever he fell off a high structure or someone "killed" him. I could not see the creativity or training in this. That I felt was inappropriate.

    For me, this was a break AWAY from my training but this WAS this child's training. There is value to be had from games as long as the games themselves are carefully selected and their use guided as is clearly done in the case described in the editorial.

    PS Sorry to describe your life as a case Andy!!!

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 16897

    Nice editorial and a subject I'm very interested in - how to let children use computers in a way that works best for everyone really.

    My children have not got on to Minecraft but I'm sure that my son would like to at some point. So far he has enjoyed Rayman (Legends) most, and he is better than me at the age of 6 (though I don't play with him so much sadly). But yes, Youtube vid demos have given him many ideas and a little inadvertent bad language it's fair to say. It will happen some time though and you may as well deal straight up.

  • erb2000

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1695

    There is a YouthDigital course: "kids ages 8-14 learn Java programming by modifying Minecraft®* and creating their own

    Mods from start to finish."

  • SDG1

    Say Hey Kid

    Points: 691

    For Christmas, my 14 year old asked for the book "Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flaming Cows in Java" by Andy Hunt.

    I was excited that he found a way and reason to get into programming early.

  • Emil B

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5568

    I'm going to get my 7 and 5 y/o their own first PC, nothing powerfull, just something to be able to watch movies and stuff on internet. Maybe minecraft will be a good first game.

    BTW:

    Any suggestions about a good parental control software?

  • abatej

    SSChasing Mays

    Points: 626

    My 10 year old daughter has recently roped me into the minecraft world. She watches lots of youtube videos of people playing the game and that introduced the whole mod thing to her. So I started researching how to get and install the mods. You are right about the confusion with the downloading of them. Most of them use an ad-revenue site to generate some income from their work, but those sites make it difficult to click on the correct link to actually get the mod file you originally wanted. So far, I haven't let her download any of them. If there is something that she wants, I look for it and get it installed. Of course she has also got me playing because she likes to play cooperatively with me in the same world.

  • djackson 22568

    SSChampion

    Points: 11713

    Kutang Pan (2/23/2015)


    I'm going to get my 7 and 5 y/o their own first PC, nothing powerfull, just something to be able to watch movies and stuff on internet. Maybe minecraft will be a good first game.

    Minecraft actually requires some power to play. Mostly video, but the slower the PC, the more lag, the more frustration...

    BTW:

    Any suggestions about a good parental control software?

    IMO none.

    I can't remember the name of the site that reviews these, but they spend time to determine what exactly gets blocked. These programs are not about blocking porn and profanity. They don't even do a good job of that.

    What they do is block sites based on political viewpoints. For example, some of them block all types of conservative sites including anything pro-Christian, anti-abortion, pro-gun et cetera. The other group block everything liberal, including anything pro-homosexuality, pro-choice, or anti-gun. Those are just examples.

    So if you feel the need to use a tool like that, make an attempt to find out what it blocks. The tool should coincide with your views as a parent, not push views on your child that you don't agree with. Whatever your political leaning, you have the right to decide what your kids see, not the company that you pay to block porn.

    Dave

  • djackson 22568

    SSChampion

    Points: 11713

    Minecraft, and other games, can be very good for teaching. What blows my mind is how schools react to it. The anti-gun nuts have pushed schools so far that some of them won't allow anything Minecraft. Why?

    A quote from our local ART teacher - 'a pickaxe is a weapon.'

    I guess as an art teacher she has never seen a statue.

    Minecraft is about building, and having fun doing so. Girls will frequently play just creative, preferring to not deal with the violence of creepers and other monsters. Girls tend to have fun just making things, as typically females tend more towards creativity.

    Boys play creative too, but are more likely to enjoy the monsters. For those who aren't aware of this creepers aren't people! (OK, ok, everyone on this group is aware, but I swear there are some dumb people out there who aren't.) While boys certainly enjoy making things, they also tend to enjoy action based games and thus may want to deal with monsters.

    Mojang made a game that allows both boys and girls to have fun, doing whatever they want to do. It has been a teaching tool from the beginning. Kids learn how to use logic from the minute they start the game (especially after it turns dark!) As parents our job is to talk to our kids and help them understand right from wrong. You can't do that in a bubble. Minecraft and other games have a lot of positive aspects, the negatives (if you perceive any) can easily be used to teach as well.

    Dave

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286958

    I liked the statement that kids don't want to learn to program...they want to do stuff. This is so very true. Learning to program for the sake of learning to program is something that don't seem to interest young people. Learning how to do something, on the other hand, is cool. So it involves programming...that's just a step along the way. After that, the seed is planted.

    I was a bit unusual when I was young. I remember playing an old DOS (barely) game on an Atari home computer and wanting to know how it worked. Since it was written in BASIC, I could just hit break and see the program code. From there, I was off to the races, figuring out how different things worked. I was 9 years old then and I've enjoyed it ever since.

  • Andrew-H

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 213

    Hi Andy, thank you for this post. It puts into words all the same frustrations and fun we went through with Minecraft in our house. It was the exact same progression with my kids. I found myself not ready to have those discussions about deceptive links and struggling to explain "It's not that I don't want you to have that mod - I just don't trust where it came from." I too am hopeful Microsoft will bring some law and order to the wild frontier of Minecraft modding.

    Regards,

    Andy

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125028

    I don't let my young kids go off exploring entirely on their own; not the neighborhood or the internet. But I do find ways to gradually and thoughtfully introduce them to mature concepts in a controlled environment where I can explain. I see it as a form of "inoculation", so when they later start junior high school, they're less likely to be confused and overwhelmed by all the real threats and other crap that society has to offer.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Kutang Pan (2/23/2015)


    I'm going to get my 7 and 5 y/o their own first PC, nothing powerfull, just something to be able to watch movies and stuff on internet. Maybe minecraft will be a good first game.

    BTW:

    Any suggestions about a good parental control software?

    I used Microsoft's...that and actual parenting (not a dig at you just a comment that software alone does not train them on how to behave).

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125028

    Kutang Pan (2/23/2015)


    I'm going to get my 7 and 5 y/o their own first PC, nothing powerfull, just something to be able to watch movies and stuff on internet. Maybe minecraft will be a good first game.

    BTW:

    Any suggestions about a good parental control software?

    Initially I allowed my kids to only browse the web using KidZui, which is a web browser and sort of a sandbox that only links to kid appropriate websites, videos, and games. When they login under their Windows account, the KidZui app loads and doesn't allow them to access to desktop or other applications.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119676

    I'm using OpenDNS at home. Not perfect, better than nothing. It's just a hard task because they have wifi enabled tablets, one as a phone, Xbox, WiiU, probably something else, and that's at home. Go to most any restaurant and there is open wifi that may or may not have filtering enabled. I've debated pointing them to a travel router so I can filter there, but ultimately it's a losing game once some kid figures it out and tells the rest. I figure I filter where/when/as long as I can, talk to them about dangers, and try to watch. Computers are in an area where I can see what they are doing, but phones/tablets? Not so much. But that's the world as it is and they have to learn to survive it, hopefully I can add guidance/lessons that will carry them through. Doesn't seem like a great plan.

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