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Help & Information

What is it?

Minecraft is a sandbox game developed by Mojang Studios. The game was created by Markus “Notch” Persson in the Java programming language. Following several early private testing versions, it was first made public in May 2009 before being fully released in November.

Minecraft is the best-selling video game in history, with over 238 million copies sold and nearly 140 million monthly active players as of 2021, and has been ported to several platforms.

Minecraft is a 3D game based on building with blocks in which the user can go on virtual adventures building and creating as they do so. Think of it as a form of ‘virtual lego’. A user becomes a character within the game and accrues items to assist in their adventure as they work their way through the game.

The main benefit to Minecraft for the user is the creativity it offers in imaginative play. Minecraft offers three modes of play: Adventure, Creative, and Survival. Survival tends to be one based more around fighting opponents and ‘survival’ of the elements, whereas ‘creative’ offers the user more exploration and ways to imagine and discover and build. Adventure mode is designed for gamers to play on downloadable game maps created by other players. Each has four levels of difficulty: Peaceful, Easy, Normal, and Hard.

Games like Minecraft that allow for exploration and creativity can be good for learning. They stimulate critical thinking, problem-solving, and systems thinking. Minecraft’s focus on building can  strengthen a player’s logic skills, creativity, and even collaboration. Try to play together when you can, and ask your child questions about it, such as, ‘Explain to me why you built that,’ ‘How did you make that?’ and ‘That’s a great structure – how does that make you feel?’ As with all education, the value has a lot to do with who is guiding the learning.

Minecraft can be played on all major systems—including PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch—allow for cross-play, so anyone can play with others regardless of their operating system.

Who is it aimed at?

Because of its complexity, potential for mild violence, and online community, Minecraft has a PEGI age rating of 7+, and is hugely popular with the age 7-13 years demographic. It appears to draw them in based on the fact there are so many things they can do and explore within the game. As a result, some parents have raised concerns they find the game quite addictive to the user. Whilst Minecraft is very popular with this demographic, it also has many older users that access the games.

Parental Controls

Minecraft can be played offline which prevents interaction with any other user, allowing parents to know there is no risk of contact with strangers – so long as the user remains offline.

If your child is under 13yrs, ensure you sign them up with the correct date of birth as this automatically activates certain settings to restrict access.

If your child chooses online play, you can still choose to restrict certain features to minimise contact with others. If you opt for single player rather than multi player mode, this can help reduce contact, as can disabling chat features.

There are options within the chat feature to block and mute other users, but key to allowing any child to access this feature is a dialogue with them around grooming and the importance of not disclosing personal data or agreeing to meet someone offline.

It’s important to know that children can also download a chatting app such as Discord, and voice- or video-chat while playing Minecraft.

Things to be aware of

Set Time Limits:

Minecraft can be a very immersive and time-consuming game, so you should agree on an amount of time that is acceptable (keep it realistic), and one that includes regular breaks from the screen.


If inappropriate language or contact is made Minecraft encourage you to report this immediately to them. Further details on how to do that can be found here


Players can hurt or kill each other, animals and zombies within the games, however, the graphics are based upon the intended demographic. We would advise you take a look to check you are happy prior to allowing your child access. In comparison to many games out there, the violence shown here is far less than others on the market.

Bullying Behaviour:

Players can bully another user when playing online by destroying another’s builds. If this happens to your child, please don’t diminish how they feel. Take time to listen and look at ways to prevent this re-occurring. Blocking users, playing offline and in single player mode can all help reduce ways in which your child can be targeted.

Online Exclusion is also very common. When children are playing in multiplayer mode alongside friends, if one isn’t deemed skilled, they can sometimes be excluded and this can be deeply upsetting to the child involved.

Video Sharing Platforms

Many children watch Minecraft videos or tutorials (for ideas on new things to create) on YouTube, or sites like Discord. Some tutorials can include bad language or inappropriate comments. To avoid your child encountering this, encourage them to watch some of the ‘best for children’ YouTube Minecraft channels, e.g., Stampy.


There’s always the possibility that players can run into predators on some servers, especially if the moderation is lax. It is always safest to play on a well-known, established server rather than joining one at random. Minecraft allows you to mute and block players and report them for inappropriate behavior. If your child is playing multiplay, ensure you review all the game’s settings with them.

As with all online gaming, intrusive parental supervision is key to ensuring your child stays safe online. For more around staying safe online, take a look here.

Minecraft offer a safety guide to assist you further.

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Need to talk?

If you are being bullied or are concerned about someone who is, you can receive help and support from one of our trained Mentors through our e-mentoring service.

If you would like a Mentor to email you, please contact: mentorsonline@bulliesout.com

If you would rather speak to someone over the telephone, you can call Childline on: 0800 1111

For any community-related issues, such as anti-social behaviour, we would suggest contacting your landlord, the local police or your local environmental health department (where applicable), as we are unable to deal with these types of complaints.