Why does my kid love Minecraft?

Five years ago this month, Minecraft 1.0 was officially released for download. Who would have guessed that a block-based video game would become one of the greatest gaming phenomena of all time? Although the game has been enjoyed by adults all over the world since its release, many parents have seen their children obsessed with Minecraft for just as long. But why are children so fascinated by this game, even years after they have started playing it?

The simple answer: Minecraft is many different things to many different people. It’s a playground for artists, architects, engineers and computer programmers, where imagination is the limit when it comes to building whatever they want. It can be both social and solitary, relaxing and invigorating. It’s fun and also educational. It is a vast place to explore, where players can venture into grand and unknown worlds, climb mountains and cross oceans. Or they may be stranded on a deserted island and test their survival skills with only the most basic resources. In short, Minecraft is what you want it to be!

So what are the other ways? How does Minecraft further help children with autism?

Minecraft offers a new method of communication for children with lower social skills. Players can interact in the world and message each other in-game. Kids can explore the world together or co-create their latest invention or artwork. They also learn to communicate by typing short, often misspelled words, sometimes before being able to write.

There are various examples of siblings not playing together to share a great bond after introducing Minecraft into their lives. There are instances where children get frustrated or scream in the first few days but later they can be seen encouraging and challenging each other in play, building their relationship; while also learning how to resolve a conflict and use your communication skills.

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Why do kids love these videos?

Children enjoy watching Let’s Play videos for a variety of reasons:

  • 1. Skills enhancement. Many kids just want to get better at a game and learn new strategies from an “expert.” They could use a video as a guide to help them get through a difficult section of the game. Kids spend a great deal of cognitive energy thinking about their gameplay and want to learn how to do things on their own, just like they might watch videos of people dancing, skateboarding, or doing bike stunts so they can learn how to do those same moves and stunts. Developing a competency and improving a skill set is common and constitutes a desire for personal growth.

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