Do you have a Minecraft-obsessed kid plugged in to Minecraft YouTube videos and starting to connect with other Minecrafters online, in forums, on servers, or social media? Are you curious about the pros and cons of multiplayer Minecraft? Is it safe to connect to online Minecraft communities and servers? And what can kids learn in these online communities?
Internet research expert Sonia Livingstone argues, in the policy brief “Families and Screen Time,” that parents spend too much time worried about the risks of kids connecting online, and they aren’t seeing the benefits of letting kids be part of online communities. For Minecraft, lots of parents get how kids can learn with the game, but not everyone understands the positives of multiplayer mode. In our new four-part blog series, Mastering Multiplayer Minecraft, we’ll dig into the pros and cons of the world of multiplayer servers.
Part I will focus on the benefits of being part of an online community and will explore what the research says about how they fuel digital skills. Part II will highlight the values of social engagement and what to look for in the code of conduct of different servers. Each server comes with a unique set of community standards and norms. We’ll help you figure out if the values of a particular server community align with your own. Part III will tackle the complexities of griefing, friendship drama, and what to do if your child becomes the griefer (it happens more often than you think). In Part IV we’ll review some of the best Minecraft servers for kids and offer a few tips for choosing one that’s right for your family.
Along the way we’ll share insights into the benefits of being part of an online community, as cited by groups like the Connected Learning Research Network and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University: learning and creating, opportunities for mentorship, and the chance for your child to connect with others who share their passion for the game.
It’s not always easy knowing when your child might be ready for multiplayer play, and we’ll cover that, too. Not all Minecraft servers are the same when it comes to providing a positive environment for younger players. Knowing how to spot the good ones is an important parent superpower to have.
And we’re pretty proud of our family friendly Kid Club Minecraft server which is free and open year round.