- 1 Getting acquainted with Minecraft
- 2 Opinions vary
- 3 A virtual friend in need is also a friend indeed?
- 4 How rating is done: content conveyer
- 5 Virtual freedom or real education?
- 6 Classification to identify game addiction
- 7 How to save а child from excessive gambling
- 8 Conclusion
With the creation and improvement of computer technology, virtual space has also progressed. From the first slot machines to the latest technologies, we are separated by a completely short period of time, but people’s enthusiasm for all this virtuality is growing exponentially. We will not go into the history of the creation of computers and games, but go straight to the problem of our society – excessive gambling from the virtual world.
In this article we would like to talk about the popular game Minecraft. Let’s look at it from all sides, revealing the pros and cons, the obvious and less obvious, hidden aspects of the game. Indeed, one way or another, all this is reflected in the real life of gamers and their loved ones. What inner qualities does it form and what can it teach? Is this game safe?
Getting acquainted with Minecraft
Officially, the game Minecraft is positioning itself as a computer indie game in the sandbox genre with elements of a survival simulator and an open world. To put it simply, this is a unique game where you can make objects with your own hands and realize the most incredible architectural fantasies, and then live in them. Medieval castles, wooden ships and entire cities – you can build anything, brick by brick. A kind of world designer Lego, only in virtual reality.
It is worth noting that Minecraft is the creation of the Swedish game designer and programmer Marcus Persson. Persson was inspired by games like Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper. After some time, the programmer founded the company Mojang, which produced the game for some time, and later it was sold to Microsoft.
The age rating of the game is PG-13, and Minecraft’s main real audience is children who have not even reached 14 years of age. But initially the game was not designed for young players. Every day, children are increasingly sitting at this game, forgetting about everything else. This situation is already seriously beginning to disturb the parents of young gamers. Some parents believe that this game replaces their offspring real friends and other possible activities. They solve this problem quite easily: either they limit their time at the computer, or they take the toy out of the hands of children altogether. At the same time, other parents believe that this game contributes to the development of creativity and allows you to communicate with peers. And here the controversy begins.
According to many parents, this game has a positive effect on the development of children’s creative thinking. It allows you to use numerous materials to build incredible architectural structures. Combinations and combinations of various elements can create new complex building materials. They, in turn, represent a broad springboard for the creativity of the child.
It builds a chain of simple actions that need to be performed to achieve some kind of result, for example, building something grand, by the standards of a child. This chain has logic in our world, that’s why children like it so much. But the understanding and interrelation of events in the game is primitive and flat, which is undoubtedly harmful for the child.
Let’s take a look at the situation objectively. If you spend some time in the game and deal with the subtleties of its mechanics, it seems not as creative as some parents believe. In fact, the creativity of the game is embedded in the program itself – this is a large number of combinations, materials and tools. The players are left with the only task – to create more complex structures. Despite the fact that at first glance the game seems creative, in reality it is quite a monotonous activity. And most of the children in this regard feel irritated after a long period of play. Minecraft does not have an open finale that stimulates creative thinking, but rather implies a rather monotonous design of endless buildings.
The game is filled with a diverse world of flora and fauna. In Minecraft, children design and explore an infinite number of new worlds and manipulate them with unprecedented control and precision. In it there are strange plants, flowers, grain crop, trees, a large number both wild and domestic animals.
But Minecraft itself is a world of cubes and pixels. Both flora and fauna – everything is painted primitively and distorted, very bright, with the use of acidic colors. Such irregular graphics very quickly “sits down” the sight and adversely affects the spatial perception of the surrounding world. No textural extensions will not help here, all objects will still be square.
And most of the representatives of the animal world of the game are bloodthirsty monsters. From the very first steps in the game, the world is an aggressive environment in which it is necessary to defend against monsters and the attacks of enemies, creating a primitive world for their own well-being and security.
A virtual friend in need is also a friend indeed?
But what about the social component of the game? If children play the online version, they make friends with peers and make new friends. Therefore, according to some parents, to ban the game – it means to separate their children from friends. But do not rush to such conclusions, not everything is as clear as it seems.
The world of Minecraft is a completely mercantile world, the laws of which are based on the extraction of resources and the accumulation of wealth. And these same benefits are often not enough for all players, so they have to resort to rivalry with each other much more often than friendship and co-creation. In the game it is enough just to kill the weaker player in order to pick up his property, transferred by the player in the backpack. But this is not all. Having destroyed the construction of another player, you can profit from rare materials, of which this very building was erected. So, for many young gamers such concepts as vandalism and looting go hand in hand with the whole game process. Assigning the benefits of another – the easiest way to get resources, a pushover. You do not have to spend a lot of time and effort on the monotonous activity on the extraction of materials in dangerous dungeons.
And the most interesting is that such actions are not stopped by anything. Well looted another player – and you will not be anything for it. The maximum that can happen – you will receive a stream of selective insults, cursing and threats. And do not be surprised that this game is played mostly by young guys – schoolchildren, their vocabulary is very rich and diverse, when it comes to infringement of power and their own ego.
One of the social features in the game is petty crime and nastiness. Young players who have been in the game for a long time are looking for new, more sophisticated ways to get pleasure. Thus, it is possible to meet the deadly traps placed among the buildings of other players, not to mention the banal flooding and arson of the home.
All of the above is valid if the “Survival” game mode is selected, but consider another mode called “Creative”.
How rating is done: content conveyer
In the “Creativity” mode, players have unlimited access to all objects, things, and building blocks, they no longer need to get or steal. You can devote time exclusively to creativity – the creation of any architectural structures. But if something was created, then you really want to show your creation to someone. And the desire to boast is not always limited to a demonstration of his masterpiece to parents. Here tons of content in various YouTube channels dedicated to the game coming from.
You might say: “An interest in the game has favorable consequences, since the children have mastered the program well, learned how to create their own game modes, manage the game server, create and edit videos, and conduct their own channel on YouTube.”
Videos of the computer game Minecraft, the mysterious world for most parents, collect the most views on YouTube. According to a study conducted by Newzoo and Octoloy, the Minecraft video game in a month collects 3.5 billion views.
This news is unlikely to surprise most parents who are hopelessly trying to pull their children from the screens. Neither a bicycle, nor a football, nor a picnic in the park can divert the attention of young gamers from watching movies, in which other people build buildings of small pixel bricks.
Parents call this enthusiasm differently: some call it development, others addiction. In fact, the video content on YouTube is a hook, an entrance ticket to the world of recycling the creative beginning of a child. And then a vicious circle. Developers “drip” money, and the child becomes a game addict.
Parents call this enthusiasm differently: some call it development, others addiction. In fact, the video content on YouTube is a hook, an entrance ticket to the world of recycling the creative beginning of a child. And then a vicious circle. Developers get money, and a child becomes a game addict.
Minecraft is a game, which means that here at the head of all actions is the pleasure that a child receives from a set of limited actions and predictable results. What kind of self-control and awareness of choice can we talk about when it comes to a 6-7-8 year old child?
Yes, it is fair to assume that dependence on games depends largely on the nature of the child, his psychological personality type, susceptibility, etc., but dependence on computer games is also directly proportional to their primitiveness.
All computer games are very harmful, especially for children. They create psychological dependence, in children the nervous system is not fully formed, they quickly get used to it, they want to play all the time. And Minecraft is a square world that forms a simplified perception of reality and a plane of thought.
The worst thing in this game is the hidden destructive effect. Even adults write this: “This is the most peaceful, peaceful and creative game of all played by my children, I am very glad that they downloaded it. She is clearly better than any shooters, where there is plenty of blood or you have to constantly fight and kill, is she creative and does it make sense? Or maybe let’s face it and let’s not choose the lesser of two evils?
Children in this game are looking for fame and recognition among other players and peers. They want to gain a sense of significance in this world, their usefulness, to reveal their potential.
If we compare this game with books, then Books develop thinking, imagination (not limited by the possibilities of the game), they teach literacy and the ability to think, delving into the details, causes and effects.
Virtual freedom or real education?
In numerous articles and posts on forums and websites, parents complain that Minecraft has taken over the lives of their children, they neglect their homework and school tasks, they are annoyed when they are forbidden to play. As a result, many parents have to ban this game in general or strictly limit the time at the computer. One father explained his decision to limit time this way: “Minecraft, like other addictive games, is limitless, but childhood is not. I would like them to learn not the virtual, but the real world”.
A child should play real, “live” games, where their own physical laws apply, and not invented and distorted. Virtual worlds are very dangerous with instant and definite results. Real life is vague, multifaceted and unobvious. Therefore, it is more attractive to get acquainted with the world of Minecraft, which is much easier to explore for a child. This is independence, permissiveness, lack of obligations and punishments, in a word, “unlimited” freedom. But the best education is the one that teaches us to live and navigate in the real world, and not in the virtual world, no matter how difficult it is.
To learn to think in the style of “And how it works,” you need not a computer and Minecraft, but the enthusiasm and inquisitiveness of mind, which can be innate or can be instilled by parents while working with the child, raising him. And then the child should learn to create something without pressing the buttons, but with his own hands (fine motor skills are very useful for the speech apparatus), for example, collecting models of sailboats or airplanes.
It is much better to create in the real world. And all the creativity in the virtual worlds is the utilization of the energy of creativity, its simple and meaningless waste, useless.
We offer to familiarize with the classification of the identification of play addiction in children. It is worth noting that this classification is suitable not only for Minecraft, but also for any other online game.
Classification to identify game addiction
This stage is notable for its harmlessness, but it can serve as a starting point for this very addiction. Here the child gets acquainted with the game for the sake of interest, this can be facilitated by such moments as: having fun with friends, boredom, laziness, as well as having a huge amount of free time with nothing to occupy. This stage is characterized by the fact that the thinking process about the game occurs only at the moment of direct interaction with it, the time of interaction is spontaneous.
The game begins to fill the free time of the child, without prejudice to the more important things: housework, study and other household affairs. At the same time, a person still has a thirst for virtual battles.
There is a combination or pushing off of some activities, for example, the child begins to eat during the game or tries to reduce the time of walking with the dog in order to play. The process of enthusiasm begins to flourish in my head, thoughts about events or actions in the game appear throughout the day. If your child has moved to the third stage, immediate intervention is required now.
If the child is not stopped, then the fourth stage begins. It is characterized by the replacement of important tasks, such as cleaning, homework, walking with friends, etc. Thoughts are 50-70% busy playing Minecraft.
Fifth stage (critical):
A person prefers to pay more attention to the game than to some physiological needs: eat, drink, go to the toilet. 98-100% of thoughts – how to pump a new level and put on a better armor.
The first stage is generally not dangerous even for mental health. The second and third affect the internal balance and involvement in the gameplay, which in real life does not help. The fourth one directly influences a person’s life, he begins to reluctantly communicate, his speech will contain many words or analogies from games, he will pay little attention to self-development, study, work, family, communication. The fifth stage of immersion is really life threatening, affecting the psyche.
What to do if the child’s excessive gambling is in the third, fourth or fifth stage? How to wean your baby from playing? We offer some simple tips that can help you with this.
How to save а child from excessive gambling
1. One needs to know an enemy in person. Try to understand the essence of this game, decide why it is dangerous for your child. Find out what attracts him to Minecraft, so it will be easier for you to offer alternatives.
2. Let the process of “weaning” occur gradually. “Minecraft” has several modes. For a start, agree with the child to play only in the “Creative” mode, where you can build parks, buildings, airplanes, ships, and there is no violence and cruelty.
3. Agree on the time that the child can devote to the game. Start a separate account on the computer, which will be disconnected in 1-2 hours after the beginning of the session.
4. If a child likes construction in the virtual world, transfer his passion to reality. Buy a constructor and build together: show that in our three-dimensional space you can create a lot of interesting things.
5. If in the computer game a child is attracted by adventures, interesting tasks and searches, arrange a quest for him in reality. Organize a family trip to nature, to the mountains, create tasks, hide the “treasures” in advance, connect all family members to the game.
6. Make a daily routine in such a way that the child has less time for computer games in general and for Minecraft in particular. If after school and homework he still has a lot of free time, sign him up to sports or in some project group.
7, The most important thing is not to miss the moment when the child is still ready to break away from the gadgets and go with you for a walk to the park, to the cinema, go to visit and indulge in other joys of the real world.
A person who starts playing computer games falls into the so-called virtual reality, although he is not aware of this until he stops playing at all. Virtual reality is dangerous for the psyche. To this end, we would like to share with you some of the stories found on the Internet, in which Minecraft plays a central role.
A case at school
I work as a first grade teacher for a long time. There is an apprentice, a clever boy, a capable boy, a normal, as a whole, child today. True, there are small problems in self-regulation, behavior, hyperactivity can be traced. Everything was not bad until the new year, when the children did not return from the holidays.
I just did not recognize him – sheer tantrums in the classroom, just that – tears, refusal to work. At first, I did not attach any importance to this, the first day after the holidays, apparently …
The next day, the child categorically refused to enter the classroom, stood gloomy in the hallway. She came out, talked with him affectionately, sort of changed his mind – he sat down to learn. But by the last lesson, everything reached the point of howling while sitting under the table, sobbing, shouting “I hate school, all the morons, I want to stay at home and play Minecraft”. Literally, he screamed as if he was breaking.
Of course, I immediately called my mother and talked for a long time. Mom said everything, remove the game and wait a little with the computer.
A day later, what was there! And howled and under the desk sobbed, and walked around the class … Began to beat classmates with terrible anger. Says that everyone and everyone hates me, let me Minecraft! Went around the school with the phone, trying to find Wi-Fi to download the game on the phone. Calling mom again, telling everything. She advised urgently to look for a psychologist, to go to a neurologist, to talk with her son, to start at least do something, but everything went downhill. She invited her to school to sit on the lessons.
Thursday. Today. Still shaking. The child howled, rolled on a floor, gnawed furniture !!! and demanded the return of Minecraft. At the lessons she tried to distract him in every way, caused, asked, praised. The result is a hysteria: “They don’t ask me and they don’t call me, the teacher doesn’t like me at all.”
Already put him on his knees, pressed to her, gave him some water, stroked his head, soothed her as best she could. So he is all shaking, crying and yelling that he does not want to live without Minecraft, that he will jump out of the balcony from his house, that there is nothing interesting in this life. Somehow calmed down.
Send a hand to the school psychologist. Everything is there too: “They don’t like me, I don’t have friends, everything is bad at school, I’m alone at home (my brother and my parents, and my grandmother, who is at home all the time?), The toys are uninteresting, there is nothing interesting on TV. Give Minecraft. He says that he is afraid that something is stolen from him or killed. Just a paragraph!
As they ask about the game – the eyes are burning, and says, says, says. We found out that he played all the holidays without stopping! Everything! I have not seen anything worse than this breaking for 15 years of work at school. That’s horrible. It is beyond words just as an addict without a dose.
I tore my phone from my classmate out of my hands to play. Then he howled that he had no friends and no one loved him. Dad arrived. The whole conversation comes down to one thing – return Minecraft. I will behave so until you return. I do not need anything until you return. Sobs, howls and all already hooked – return-ee !!! Scary … I’m very, very scared.
I, frankly, am very confused and do not know how to build a school life with him in order to remove this condition. I really hope that parents urgently find a good psychologist, because here I feel powerless. Yes, I download it today with tasks – to help, distribute, wash the board, I ask more often than anyone combined. But the guy is bad.
Son of the house said that I no longer heard at all and did not see anything about Minecraft at all. Because there was also an attempt to get hooked up, right up to hysterics, but, apparently, we caught it in time and limited it.
Tells the mom of a player in Minecraft
The peers of my son (14 years old) sit in this game for days, talking on Skype. I do not allow this amount of time to spend near the computer, especially during school hours. So he was freaking out, shouting that others could, but I wasn’t … We turned to a neurologist and a psychologist, as he abandoned his studies, came back from school — and even into a computer, without even having eaten or taught lessons.
Tells another mom of a player in Minecraft
My kids are crazy about this game. They want to play it for days on end. For curiosity, I decided to play too. I didn’t understand why children are so fanciful, the graphics are terrible, the meaning of the game is not clear, it advertises aggression. It is necessary to kill zombies, some can be killed by fire. As for graphics, everything is square: people, animals, and zombies. Children play both in the computer, and in addition downloaded on phone. After this game, toys appeared in the stores – the characters of this game and various accessories, which are fabulous, although they do not represent anything valuable. I can not understand why the children like it so much that they are ready to go at all to play it?
And another mom of a player in Minecraft writes
Dependence develops creepy, just, we, adults, do not pay attention to it, but really children come from school to the computer, and so on until 12 at night, I’m a witness myself, like the same age of my son are online, sit at such a time (study time), and when are they walking, helping parents, reading books? Not all, but very many. And the games have a great influence on the child’s psyche, developing a sense of permissiveness. In the game, you can go into the house, pick up the thing and you will not get anything, you can jump off the roof and nothing will happen either. The child gets used and takes it to life.
Leaving into virtual reality, as previously stated, is due to the presence of a large amount of free time, unfulfilled personal life, lack of vision of the future, lack of favorite activities, etc.
You also need to specify the time of the creation of MMORPG and similar projects. It’s no secret that games are made for money. In order to “cut down” them more, you need to interest as many people as possible, this is what their creators are doing. Therefore, the more people are addicted to virtual reality, the greater the profits of those who create and sell them.
Practice martial arts, draw, play musical instruments, read, communicate with people, love, learn something new! “If you want to change the world, change yourself.” And if everything suits you, then help others. There are a lot of activities in the world that develop you as an individual, but this is definitely not playing computer games!
Translated by Daria Egorova