When you think about the things that most kids love most, there are few that come to top of mind quickly: TV, video games and Lego. When you think about Minecraft, it pulls in all three of these things. In fact, Minecraft looks pretty similar to lego pieces and the purpose of the game is to build. You have likely asked yourself some variation of the following question: is my child addicted to Minecraft or is Minecraft addiction real? Let’s look at why you might be thinking this.
Benefits of Minecraft
Before we dive into why you might think your child is addition to Minecraft, there are a few things to remember about the game. She shared 8 benefits of Minecraft that is definitely worth a read. In the meantime, here’s are some benefits of Minecraft:
- Minecraft helps build focus – your child needs to be able to focus for an extended period of time in this game to get through building something large and complicated which they will need to do in the game.
- Minecraft helps kids with their problem solving skills
- Minecraft encourages creativity
- Minecraft requires kids to focus to achieve a goal
These are just a few of the benefits. Now, for the question at hand.
Does my child have a Minecraft addiction?
The main reason Minecraft may seem more addictive than other games is because it is a sandbox game. This means that there is no specific set of goals that need to be achieved to “win”. Other games, like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, have a finite amount of time that it takes to get through a game. While kids play round after round, Minecraft doesn’t have a time frame or goal that “ends” the game. For this reason, it can be hard for kids to identify when enough is enough since the goal they have in mind is created by them and may be unrealistic for a specific time frame.
Does Age Matter?
While many games have a higher age rating, Minecraft is rated 10+. With the lower age rating, some children lack the maturity to know when enough is enough. It is a very easily accessible game that is available on most platforms which makes it easy to play no matter what device they have.
The Minecraft Community
The Minecraft community extends far past the in-game play. It is also a very popular game to watch. So while your child may not be playing Minecraft, they are likely watching others play on YouTube or Twitch. They are constantly trying to learn new skills to enhance their game play when they go back to playing.
Another reason kids can’t stop playing Minecraft is because of their friends or people they have met online. Just like in a social situation, they feel pressured by their peers to get online and play so that they don’t miss out. Again, because there isn’t a specific round or level that they need to beat at a specific time, the lack of limits is a challenge for kids to know when to stop or they feel envious of their friends that they get to continue playing when they need to stop. Peer pressure can play a big role in why you may be wondering if your child is addicted to Minecraft.
Here’s what you need to know: the gave was designed to be addictive. The fact that it is a sandbox game, has no end, is so open and creative and has a low age rating are all things that make it addictive. So, yes. Minecraft addiction is a real thing. Check these signs to see if your child exhibiting most of them. If so, there is a problem and it may be tine to put more boundaries in place to stop the addiction.
- Your child lies to their family and friends about gaming
- They have no interest in any other activities, hobbies or sports
- Your child wants to play more and more and more. No amount of Minecraft is enough
- Your child is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t playing. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, cravings, irritation, depression etc.
- They are unable to limit their time playing