As part of online parenting groups I often come across parents complaining about Minecraft and saying their kids are addicted to it and get cranky when they have to stop.
As a person who plays minecraft myself, I can fully understand why any person would get upset being told they need to stop their in game activity RIGHT NOW.
I think parents who don't understand how educational minecraft is are parents who don't play it.
It's complicated to stop a build in the middle of a project. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, then you need to play the game.
When we first got it. I had no clue what the draw for it was. My kids and husband played together.
As a homeschooling family, getting uninterrupted hours in the day to get things done was a welcome thing. Over time, as I cleaned around them I gained some understanding of the game and finally gave in when my husband bought me an account for Christmas last year. I was only against the idea because I figured I'd not play enough to justify the cost. He gave me no choice when he gifted me with it.
I figured i'd play a little and get to see what they were doing in game so I would understand their minecraft speak.
Little did I know it would be such a fun and family bonding way to pass time! Between that and the educational component to it, it has left me a major fan.
My husband and I play minecraft with the kids regularly. Not nearly as much as the kids would like. Because we have real life house to care for and renovate and foods to grow in our own garden, but we do try to play with them once a week or so.
For the educational angle, there is math. Chemistry. Animal husbandry. Farming. Geometry just to name a few!
When you play online with others you learn cooperative team work and make friends...which even if online in game is great for homeschooled kids!
I love minecraft and I'm 39. My hobbit house and 5 sub basements are my pride and joy. My husband built a 1:5th scale of the cn tower...and bluenose boat which lead to history lessons for the whole family.
I encourage any parent complaining about minecraft to actually show an interest and get your kid to teach you how to play and see what they are doing in the game.
Then you'll understand what they mean when they get upset because they need to finish up something first.
Giving a fair warning of when they have to save and exit will help minimize the argument...even if they only had 30 minutes. Giving them a warning 15 minutes in, and then 10 minutes, will help them disingage easier.
Also, might I suggest you get them a minecraft notebook to jot down ideas and how much stones and sand they'll need for the next time they are in game, as a way to allow them to end their session easier. When I'm in the middle if mining for coal to fire my cobble into stone for my castle build. It helps me save and quit to go make supper on time, if I jot down my notes to know where I need to start off again next time.
Minecraft is an amazing bonder and fun thing to do. My daughter is 13 and she and I play together. Her and her brother who is 8 play together. We all do together and sometimes even my husband and I play together when the kids go to bed! I'm a visual learner, so im currently nuilding our own home and workshop and property in minecraft to decide on garden placement and tree placement as well as building area in the workshop I have ideas of for crafts and canning oir vegetables etc. It allows me to do a simulation walk through of what our home could feel like, and actually gives me encouragement to keep going on our improvments of our home. It helps to see the after while stuck in the middle chaos part of renovations.
My son can play for hours for days on end. Then go for a week not looking at the computer at all. With how educational and productive their in game time is, i don't worry about it being an addiction.
Minecraft helped my son learn to read and at 8 with dyslexia....that's pretty great!
My daughter is now learning to make texture packs in photoshop. Sje crates skins for her and her friends in game and she plans community builds online with others in game on a multiplayer server.
She even saved up $100 of her babysitting money this summer and paid for a vip memberhsip on a server for lifetime. Seeing as how the 100 dollars goes towards charity 100%, minecraft has opened up an amazing virtual world that teaches great lessons for her in real life.
I guess my point is...
Don't knock it till you try it.