The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Before you jump the gun and call me crazy, hear me out. I previously thought Minecraft was for little kids because it only involves building things. However, I was wrong.
Minecraft, a cross-platform video game developed by Mojang Studios, has 141 million monthly active players. In the game, players are able to build three-dimensional worlds within an extremely expansive play-area. While building and interacting with other players, each individual subconsciously develops numerous real-world skills.
Below are ten skills children can develop while playing Minecraft. These are skills arguably used on a daily-basis in a functional adult life.
No matter what gamemode an individual is playing, problem-solving is required. Figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B, crafting new tools and items, and finding which tools are the most efficient are only three examples of ways Minecraft players build their problem-solving skills.
Some people decide to play in their own world. However, if players decide to join a multiplayer realm or an online game, they have to figure out how to work with others. For example, my family has a realm where we all have our own houses, farms, etc. We also have shared structures such as a castle, ship, and roller coaster. In order to build those structures, we had to figure out the best way to work together.
Again, this usually only applies if players are in a multiplayer realm, but I think communicating with other players in an online realm is incomparably more fun than playing in my own, private world. The chat, which is quite easily accessible, allows players to communicate amongst one another while they are building, hunting, mining, or even exploring. As long as players are inside the same realm, they can chat together––no matter what activity they are partaking in.
This may be the most challenging part of Minecraft for me. Of course players can build whatever they want without counting or using PEMDAS (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, or subtraction), but the structures are unlikely to be symmetrical or aesthetically satisfying if some form of math is not used.
Minecraft allows for so much creativity. In fact, it has even challenged my own creativity a few times. After a while, you find yourself asking, what can I build now? I have created a few roller coasters, floating houses, a castle, an underwater tunnel, and… okay… this list could get extensively long. That is my point! Players have to dig into the deepest depths of their brains to continue creating and expanding their world.
6. Project Management
Project management brings together the components of time management and teamwork to achieve peak success. Some projects take longer than others, and it is unhealthy to sit at a television or computer for numerous hours. Therefore, figuring out what needs to be built first and last and who needs to attend to what components of a structure are all important aspects of project management within Minecraft.
If players choose to play Minecraft on their computer rather than a console, such as Xbox or PlayStation, then they need to get used to WASD (forward, left, backward, and right). They should probably also be familiar with E (inventory), T (chat), B (emotes), spacebar (jump), shift (down/duck), and more. With the requirement of this 21st Century skill continuing to rise in the workforce, Minecraft could possibly lend well to earning a job in the long run.
8. Reading and Writing
Whether it is figuring out the names of materials or communicating with other players in the chat, reading and writing is a key component to successfully operating in Minecraft.
In my experience, when a player dies, the player’s friends or online co-players do their best to try to get the resources back to the player who died. This is just one example of empathy in Minecraft. Other ways empathy is gained is through curiosity. When an individual experiences curiosity and goes out of the way to seek answers, empathy is inadvertently gained. The reason for this is that when a person experiences continued curiosity and becomes comfortable with feeling such, that individual tends to seek out answers in other aspects in life, including why others feel how they do.
10. Resource Management
In a world with quickly depleting fossil fuels and forestation, resource management is a vital skill to have in one’s arbitrary toolbox (for example: cutting down all the trees in one area to create tools will leave players without any wood). Therefore, players have to plant saplings and give them nutrients from bone meal in order to maintain a consistent source of wood. Another example of resource management in Minecraft is being cautious of how much one mines in a given area. If a player mines all of the diamonds on one island, then the player will need to find a new island and start an entirely new mineshaft to find more diamonds. Thus, coming to the realization that one needs to use resources sparingly and as needed, not necessarily as wanted.
Whether the player is eight or fifty years old, numerous skills can be gained or developed while playing Minecraft. This game may seem childish and superficial, but after playing and experiencing the game in the brief time I have so far (it has only been a month since I installed it), I have recognized the invaluable skills Minecraft helps prosper. From one Minecraft player to the rest of the world: if you haven’t played it yet, you are missing out.