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Should Kids Play Minecraft?

Minecraft 2012


But with supervision and with some caveats.

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About Leonie Smith

Leonie Smith is a Social Media Consultant and Cyber Safety Expert who gives expert advice to business on social media and online marketing. Digital Breezes is a fully integrated Social Media consultancy. From set up, design, content creation and training we cover it all. Her clients benefit by receiving the latest training on Social Media marketing, whilst learning how to keep their and their employees online personal data separate. Leonie consults with business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and more. Leonie is also known as "The Cyber Safety Lady" http://www.thecybersafetylady.com www.twitter.com/_LeonieGSmith Facebook: www.facebook.com/LeonieGabrielleSmith


  1. Hi Pam thanks for the comment, you can activate safety mode on YouTube, but unless people rank their own video with swearing within ect…it might now work…but it might help…try setting this up http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&answer=174084 and let me know how you go, Im interested to see if it works!

  2. Hi Kim, at 8 years old he should either play single player, or only be on a private Server. He is far too young for the public servers. Some kids are clever enough to set up private servers, but be sure that they are only inviting players their own age that they know in real life. This will take some supervision on your part, you might be best sitting with him whilst he plays so that you know what its all about. I actually made an account for myself and got my boys to show me around so I knew how it worked.
    Let me know how you go.

  3. i don’t know.. i get kind of creeped out watching somebody build things to destroy them, i.e. hiding TNT in places and then watching things blow up. some things seem harmless. got a little freaked out yesterday when the date on a post blow up thing showed as 9/11. Maybe I’m senstive to the freaky stuff going on, but left me a bit uneasy.

    • Thanks for your comment Stacy, the solution is to play as single player or on a private server then you have control over what happens. Creative mode is great!

  4. Bilbo Baggins says:

    Go to http://www.muttsworldmine.com for a nice safe family friendly group of servers.

  5. Dear Upset Parent. I sympathise with how hard it is sometimes for us as parents to get our kids to do what is best for them. Your challenge is to restrict her use. My kids arn’t allowed to play games in the morning at all, or for that matter during the week. What works for one child won’t work for another. You need to find in your own way how to moderate her use. It’s easier to find solutions when they are young rather than later in life. Give rewards for good behaviour and take away the computer for when she is not complying. You will have a fight on your hands until she knows you mean business if you can be consistent every time. Been there done that…oldest son is 29! and had also quite an addiction to all sorts of games. Best of luck with it.

  6. Thankyou Jesse for your comment, that is very helpful. I do think kids having their own server is the best option.

  7. Right now it appears like Drupal is the top blogging platform
    available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using
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  8. Parents are concerned about where their kids are going online and so they should be. It’s better to be sure you know the online environment is safe for your kids, and to be close by if your child needs help. There are both good and bad folks online,hard to tell which is which!

  9. Ok i just googled COPPA, Privacy is the only word i needed.
    Its simple common sence not to give away details, howver thanks when i go on my tekkit server ill put keep real life details private as a rule…
    Also having read ^his response I have to agree,who cares if you meet a “bad folk” if he ennoys you just ignore him or troll him or something.
    Does it realy matter?
    Its pixels on a screen,

    • Hi Corporal, glad you googled it :) If you meet “bad folk” ignore and block is always the best, trolling them only gives them more ammunition to hit you back with, they live for a response! Don’t give it and they get bored and go try to Troll someone else. The problem is that “Bad Folk” can be a mature man pretending to be a kid, who then be friends someone not as savvy as you, and then the kid gets taken advantage of. The things that can go wrong when adults connect with children or even young Teens online is well documented. There have been many many cases of kids who have been hurt or killed in real life by someone they get stalked by or arrange to meet in real life, that they thought was the same age as them because they were online in an unmoderated adult community, Facebook being one of them. It’s simply just NOT worth the risk Corporal, if one child or Teen gets hurt or killed because kids are allowed to mix with adults. Stay safe Corporal, be sure to talk to your parents or another trusted adult if you need any help what so ever with the online world. Ask your parents to read this blog, see what they think? best wishes Leonie

  10. “My kids arn’t allowed to play games in the morning at all, or for that matter during the week.”
    Thats a little harsh?
    No offence

    • Different Families have different rules depending on the individual needs of their kids. Having already brought up 2 kids, who are now 29 and 27 and remembering how hard it was to get them off the computer or T.V just to get to school in the mornings, the no TV in the mornings rule just works. Also, Gaming during the week would deter my kids from going outside playing with friends, or doing homework. Where we live in Australia it’s beautiful weather and light right now till 8pm!!! not like England where its cold and dark :( Both my kids do pretty well at school and they still get to go online after school but just not gaming, which can get really addictive. That works for us.

  11. Sim?
    As in simulation game? Phone sim? Sims 3?

  12. Hi,
    Sarah you can contact the owner of the server or look into a differs t server for him which hasn’t got private messages etc.
    Also I think heroine was an exude to be aloud to play on a server. The HEROBRINE does not exist and people get a HEROBRINE e skin and pretend to be it

  13. Hello,
    I want to thank you for your detailed reply Leonie, I wish I had posted here a while ago and thanks ‘herobrine’ u have been very helpful.
    I feel stupid for not researching this before and assuming this was a kids game, anyway…..I’ve now banned this game and feel relieved about it. I will not be letting myself be fooled by a child anymore! I figured I was fairly young and slightely computer savvy but now realise I’m not! All games will now be vetted. I was happy with him to play this until he started playing on these servers. He says he wants to play again when 13! But hopefully he will have forgotten about this game by then!
    Thanks again

  14. woops forgot the

  15. Do you realy have to make that post that many times?
    And you didnt even make your statement clear!
    -enraged huff-

  16. Not true leonine
    You can hack skype
    There is software which hacks Ips using Skype and theres some clever software that allows you to track info

    • Thanks Herobrine, True if you have a computer you are at a risk of something being Hacked, but in general the average person using Skype can’t see your whereabouts and IP addresses only give a general location.

  17. I have the perfect punishment for a teen who needs an effective and applicable punishment for abusing the computer and/or lying to his parents about computer use. It might be a good thing to explain that I don’t have a problem with my son playing Mind Craft. What I have a problem with is his being addicted to it and lying about his time on the game or other abuses using the computer. Starting tonight, if I catch him in a lie or other abuse of the computer I will restore his laptop back 1 week and delete all restore points beyond that restore date; thus effectively wiping out all his work on the game for 1 full week. That should send a big message to him that if he wants to keep his work, he better follow the rules and not lie.

    • Yikes! We just have a Game time, time table. If they go over then the time over is taken off the next session. But hey what ever works for your family :)

  18. Doug he can copy the world and hide it in a folder so unless you completely wipe the laptop it won’t work

  19. TheRevan789 says:

    In some private servers there are rules, as no griefing ((Perma-ban)) or no saying “the words” ((i are avoiding them. 3 days of ban 3 times, more and you are perma-banned))

    The moderators aren´t that hard to found, in the chat you can advise them. And no, i din´t had to complain about anything :D

  20. Hi,
    Firstly there’s no such thing as the Herobrine, however mojang made an account Herobrine as a joke. Some people say there was a coding eror which probably means that a zombie got a Steve skin with white eyes because on the game there used to be a “Dark Steve” with white eyes.
    Secondly, What’s to be scared of? And anyway all of my friends have played for ages and there’s no such thing
    He’s not real and never has been.
    Ps: You may get mods or see him on multiplayer as the server command /nick on easy essentials allows you to obtain any name while on that server. There are Also Herobrine mods and server plugins which spawns a Herobrine mob.
    I have been killed by Herobrine on my friends server because he had a command that allowed him to kill mr in away were I came up on chat that I was struck down by it.

    -Rory_h (11) Hope I helped

  21. You need to set some limits. Use rewards and consequences. Set her a timetable for game play.

    • WonderKidsMom says:

      I agree with setting limits. Ask yourself what else you would like her to be doing. Is she avoiding friends and invites to go do something fun? My sons friends are all starting to “date” at 12 and 13 and all they want to do is walk the malls with their girlfriends or lay around watching tv. Some are starting to experiment. It’s those times I’m glad my son is gaming!!

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I apologize for the delay in responding to your post. We did as you suggested and helped him build his own server and he now plays only with those he invites. Thank you so much for the link, I don’t think I would ever have found it on my own!


  23. Rosasharn says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips! My son is turning 9 next month and I’ve been trying to decide if i want him to get this game or not. Single player seems to be the way to go. Since we’re overseas living in a small town, non English-speaking environment, I’m not even sure if any of his friends play this game or not.

  24. Concerned Mum I’m totally with you on this one. Lately there have been some conversations around teachers being on social media with their students, and I’m definitely not comfortable with that. Why? because social media and online gaming can be one to one with no supervision, and my son had an issue with a school employee approaching him online. I think its breaking boundaries and I find it difficult to believe that the teacher is allowed to meet his students online after hours. I wish it were not so, that our kids would have to be wary of their own teacher online…but sadly history teaches us, that those that we trust the most can be our greatest betrayers. And only open class rooms is safe for our children. Your daughter’s teacher might have the purest intentions, but a child playing online with an adult is NOT supervised. I would advise you to not allow your daughter to continue. I’m surprised your daughters school allows a teacher to “play” with his students outside of school hours, thats not usually allowed. These are new days, and so much in technology is catching us unawares, rules and boundaries not set before we are challenged to face them. I think you need to take your concerns further while ensuring that the teacher is protected, he hasn’t done anything wrong…but it’s not safe for the teacher or his students to continue to do this. The teacher is putting himself in a vulnerable position where he might be accused of something he didn’t intend simply because he is fraternising with students out of school. I hope this helps.

  25. Lucinda Thompson says:

    Hello and I’m a 12 year old girl thinking of joining MC. I play a lot of games but I try to limit myself because I know that if I’m on for hours each day I’ll get addicted. My parents let me go on the computer for as long as I like, as long as my homework is done (we have a few hours each night of it), my room is tidy and I’ve ate something. When I go on I play a viarity (I spelt that wrong) of different games so I don’t get hooked on a certain game. A few days ago I have being playing the mc demo and after a lot of contemplation I had come to the conclusion that I liked the game. Now I am highly picky on the type of games I like to play because if I play a game I want to make sure it’s good.
    My main concern is the public server. I live in a neighborhood (spelt that wrong also) where I’m the only child living on the street so a public server would be the server I’d have to do on. I know I could play by myself but I like communicating with people otherwise I would feel very bored. Reading the comments I am worried about the language I’d be expecting on a public server. I can ignore it but I don’t like the feeling of doing what I do best while such obscene language is being said. Does any of you have any servers I could join that are child friendly? (I wouldn’t be joining just yet I need to ask my parents for a membership).

    • Noah Tennant says:

      Another thing you can do is when you are on the server you can go onto multiplayer settings and change the multiplayer chat to commands only.

    • Lucinda Thompson says:

      Well thank you ^^! Yeah you’re right. But at the school I go to MC? Pfft, you even mention it and you’re the brand new geek. Only 1 person in the whole school plays it (in our class) and she gets bullied often. I would play with her but she only goes on single player mode.
      It really disappoints me how so many adults take advantage of children in very wrong ways. I definitely wouldn’t like griefing also!
      I guess I’m stuck right now. I could make my own server but I’d be the only one playing on it sadly. I guess it’s single player for me, so I better just play the free version.

      • Thanks Lucinda, I’d really like to see kid safe servers that were proven to be safe,

      • Leonie Smith says:

        No public server is entirely safe, because adults can pretend to be kids, and kids can gang up on you, if they are not close friends offline with you.

  26. John Rogers says:

    My son plays the game and I have found mods to be very easy to install! The programming isn’t unsafe whatsoever.

  27. Only mods and texture packs (downloadable content) contain content possibly harmful for your PC but main stream mods like tekkit if you get them from the official downloads there safe.
    Servers cannot damage your pc however it can trace your ip like Skype which is a rough idea of whee you live ( a few miles)

  28. WonderKidsMom says:

    Elizabeth, there are safe servers out there but they are hard to find. My 13 year old just created one and his group of friends are well behaved. No foul language, no griefing, etc. I remember my sons frustration as older players were destroying his stuff and killing his player.

  29. Leonie Smith says:

    Just updating my comment software they will be back soon!

  30. Watch out for any mods you download, be sure they are from respected sources

  31. Great school!

  32. Your approach is like mine WonderKidsMom, every kids is different, and for children who might otherwise be marginalised and isolated computers and gaming are wonderful. It can be a very lonely time for kids that fall outside the social circles. Balance is everything.

  33. Leonie Smith says:

    Your approach is like mine WonderKidsMom, every kids is different, and for children who might otherwise be marginalised and isolated computers and gaming are wonderful. It can be a very lonely time for kids that fall outside the social circles. Balance is everything.

  34. Leonie Smith says:

    Sounds like a Great School!