Minecraft: The video game kids should waste time on this summer
Minecraft is a digital 'sandbox' game – a video game designed to allow users an infinite ways to interact with the game world.
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Anne Collier is editor of NetFamilyNews.org and co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a Web-based interactive forum and information site for teens, parents, educators, and everybody interested in the impact of the social Web on youth and vice versa. She lives in Northern California and has two sons.
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- Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition – the biggest upside is that it’s so plug-’n'-play for console gamers. According to a great review in VentureBeat.com, they can just start it up and start building. But serious Minecrafters will instantly see the downsides of no creative mode, no mods, and the fact that its features lag behind the computer version by about a year. BUT there are “great multiplayer options” for play among friends and fellow gamers via Xbox Live. (A reader can’t tell if the combat in the Xbox edition is “no fun” because the writer really just likes creating and building or because it’s no fun for people who love PvP mode on computers.) This edition had a “record-breaking launch” on May 9, 2012, and sold millions of copies within a few months of launch, Gamespot reported last October.
- Mining Minecraft for learning – a 3-part series of guest posts right here in NFN by Marianne Malmstrom, who teaches 3rd-through-8th-graders in Minecraft – “Part 1: Little gamers’ digital play through a teacher’s eyes,” “Part 2: Brilliance when students drive the learning,” and “Part 3: Safety & citizenship in games (do try this at home)“
- “Minecraft in education: How video games are teaching kids”
- Server admin challenges: Here’s a page that can give you a solid sense of the challenges of running a public Minecraft server, like those listed at Mojang’s Minecraft.net here (there are also “whitelist” servers where players have to be approved, or apply, before they can join).
- “What does ‘safe’ really look like in a digital age?”
- Time’s McCracken’s story about the making of his Minecraft story
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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Anne Collier blogs at NetFamilyNews.org.