Yr 7 DS and Minecraft computer game after school

(63 Posts)

I'm getting a bit concerned that my DS seems to spend all his free time after (and before) school on Minecraft. He doesn't have THAT much free time to be fair but it's the fact that he's lost interest in all the other 'switch off' things he used to do, like reading, drawing detailed pictures of helicopters etc, playing outside with his younger brother and Lego.

Is this typical of a secondary school child?

I can't decide whether i should let him get on with it and relax in whatever way he chooses to or limit him to just a few times a week, so he doesn't stop reading etc. He is totally non communicative when he's playing, with ear phones in and can be pretty grumpy when told to stop. That bothers me as much as the time actually.

Pasteurella Wed 04-Feb-15 20:50:40

Mine are both on the spectrum so tend to be a bit obsessive anyway, but this is one game I don't mind them playing. My husband set up a server which only they and their friends know the address for and they all meet there regularly to build something or slay an enderdragon.

It's done wonders for their social skills, and has spilled over to school where they are now in tightly knit social groups talking to each other and have a decent social life. My youngest has just started learning Java (with Dad, who's a programmer) because he wants to program his own minecraft mods (modifications, for the uninitiated).

It's still limited, and they have to earn time to be on it, but we're a bit freer with the time for this one!

PastSellByDate Tue 03-Feb-15 14:33:36

in general we try to use game time as a reward for getting all jobs done - so no playing Minecraft (fill in the blank - could be Candy Crush Soda for DH) - until all jobs are done.

I find it works as well for DH as the DDs.

Teddingtonmum1 Mon 02-Feb-15 20:38:32

Another MC addict but as he is a weekly boarder he has to share the x box when at school . What amazes me spends hours at the weekend watching others play what's that about ????

GoodArvo Wed 28-Jan-15 07:22:37

DS1 is in year 7 and goes on Minecraft and GMod with his friends and talk via Skype. He only knew one other boy at his new secondary (and he's in a different form) so it has been a good way to bond with other boys. DS1 also plays on it with his old friends from primary.

When we were kids we probably all watched too much television (I certainly did!) and minecraft is much less passive than TV.

SG29 Tue 27-Jan-15 15:13:54

Yikes, I didn't realise it was so addictive! I have actually encouraged DD to play it as it seems more interactive than the "Disney teen" type TV shows she otherwise watches on her gadgetry when "relaxing".

However, we have had to institute strict limits on any kind of gadget playing, because like the OP we found it was spiralling out of control, she was losing interest in other things, and becoming grumpy and unable to cope when disturbed by it. We had originally thought it was a good way for her to wind down, but realised it was just making her more tired. After limiting gadget play to certain times, she returned to her old self. She does very much look forward to gadget time though.

I didn't even know you could play it interactively. DD keeps quiet about her interest in minecraft with her friends...

Alsoflamingo Tue 27-Jan-15 12:07:32

OP I could have written your post too! My DS is Y6 and it seems to be the only thing he wants to do .I am torn between thinking that I need to accept that times have changed etc - and really being profoundly sad that the only thing they seem to want to do is stare at screens and exist in some virtual world. I agree about the bonding element - and do allow my DCs to go on MC (about half an hour a day normally), but I find them cranky afterwards and trying to get them off it is like trying to snatch heroin from a junky. Just feels wrong and unhealthy somehow. Is there a solution? Does there need to be a solution?

jolyon Tue 27-Jan-15 09:30:27

I hope that the mods will allow me to post this link, which is relevant but which I suspect is not otherwise being read.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/media_requests/2288897-Minecraft-Radio-4

headinhands Tue 09-Oct-12 18:51:22

On a family outing? No.sad

MadameCreeper Tue 09-Oct-12 17:14:57

Does your DS return with steak and wood headinhands?

headinhands Tue 09-Oct-12 14:31:44

We have the MC pocket edition on both iPads and iPhones and the whole family played in the same world last night. My life. You need the negotiating skills of an international diplomat!

It was hilarious though. Dd built an assembly room where we had to meet every now and then to collect specialist equipment she had made for us. Only ds kept running off every now and then whenever he'd catch sight of an animal/monster in the distance. So funny seeing him galavanting off into the mists to do his own thing. Much like what he does on every outing.

GooseyLoosey Tue 09-Oct-12 11:50:49

CouthyMow, ds is in Yr 5 and loves it. He would spend hours on it if allowed to do so. I cannot see the point in it. It seems to mostly involve either stacking blocks on top of each other or hacking blocks down. You have to get fairly in to it to really get much out of it. I have seen ds watch endless tutorials to work out how to do things on it.

Asinine Tue 09-Oct-12 11:44:53

Ours (14,12,10 and 7) can play mc or other screen stuff from 4-5 Monday-Thursday, if they're not at an after school thing, after 5 is homework, music or playing out. Friday is screen free for everyone. Weekends are busy with music activities or family stuff, but if it's very wet they can binge. No one on fb, they don't seem to be interested.

It's a fine game, it's just a case of keeping them off it enough, so they can remember what else they're interested in.

Dinglebert Tue 09-Oct-12 11:32:27

Isn't it just him coping with the huge move to secondary school? I guess it is absorbing in a way that drawing wouldn't be - thus letting him relax rather than letting his mind wander and worry about school.

My DS is a bit addicted too. It looks like quite a good game to me - he makes the most amazing structures (assuming I am thinking about the same game blush may not be - no pigs and dogs in ours!) and has the think laterally and three dimensionally. I would rather him doing this than some other mindless pastime.

anewyear Tue 09-Oct-12 10:10:10

Another 2 MC addicts here too, DS1 14 & DS2 11.
DS2 spends time going bettween MC and Skylanders.

I love the idea of playing myself! It does sound fun - DS has lost his interest in becoming vegetarian as a pig killed his dog, so he's out to get all pigs!! Was funny that we realised this while serving up pork loin on Sunday- I expected a grumpy DS1 because he is really going off meat, but he was delighted to be eating pig!!

The sleep thing is a really good point. After DS1 started getting tired we have reeled bedtime back to 830 in bed reading, 9 lights out. And no MC from 730 onwards, just TV or other switch off things. Only scouts night and Fridays where we will relax those rules and DS1s mood has improved considerably. Amazing what decent sleep can do. Also we have said MC needs to be treated as a treat not taken for granted, meaning the laptops switched off after any winding up of little brother or snapping at me.

We have never considered the server stuff though DS1 loves showing his friends his MC world when they come over. The server is just a big step too far for us, seems too complex rather than too risky. I need the laptop for my grocery shop so don't think it would be safe to enter bank card details onto same computer that a server is being hosted on.

The MC game itself seems enough though, we also have the iPad MC and DS2 who is 7 loves it! But I am wiser now so his time is even more limited!

headinhands Mon 08-Oct-12 15:49:11

Any adults going to admit to liking Minecraft themselves? I played with dh last night. Funny how he ended up doing the mining while I caught and cooked ducks and sheep and made the beds.

ChampagneCharlotte Mon 08-Oct-12 11:08:37

DS (12, year 8) also mad about Minecraft, new rule that there's no computers Mon-Thurs, then a few hours at weekend...but he really wants XBox live, any thoughts? Is is safe?

Coffeeformeplease Sun 07-Oct-12 17:41:57

OK, I think we will not allow it then, sounds to complicated, and works fine without the server thing.
Thanks.

SoupDragon Sun 07-Oct-12 15:48:03

Solo, after googling I came across the warning your DH quotes below and thought I don't even have a vague understanding let alone a clear one. grin My understanding is just clear enough to know we shouldn't be getting involved in it! grin

I have just had a group of 13 year old boys "in" my playroom playing Minecraft. These seem to have been replaced by a group of 11 year olds. [sigh]
"X! Why did you have to do that! I was just mining! I was just mining, man... You are SO mean! All I was doing was some mining and you hit me with some bacon!"

FFS.

NoSoggyBottoms Sun 07-Oct-12 15:29:18

Thought I was going to have to contact a counselling service for DS when he lost his diamond pick axe after falling in lava hmm!!

NoSoggyBottoms Sun 07-Oct-12 15:26:38

CouthyMowWearingOrange I would think that a 10yr old/Y6 child would love it - most do!

You can either download it for your PC or play via Xbox (you will need Xbox live gold and microsoft points to buy it)

You will not need any other equipment apart from either a laptop/PC or Xbox.

Minecraft is a virtual world where basically the character can dig up and build things in their world.

There are some "monsters" but if you play in 'peaceful' mode, these nasties won't appear! Btw, the monsters aren't scary, but can kill you!

You can play by yourself or with others. My DS (11) is only allowed to play with his real friends, rather than playing with strangers.

The graphics are very basic when compared to todays computer games. There is only music and sound effects, so no swearing (apart from DS's friends!...that's via a microphone connection!). You can get 'killed' but it isn't bloody or gory.

Hope this helps smile

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 07-Oct-12 13:25:22

I have said it before, and I say it again...

Minecraft is the crack cocaine of children's games.

We host a server, but limit his time so that he can only access the pc at certain times.

lljkk Sun 07-Oct-12 13:21:24

DH sets up & runs servers for a living or probably I wouldn't have allowed it, either smile.

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 13:18:29

Ds says "Fair point!" grin

SoupDragon Sun 07-Oct-12 13:15:46

Oh, I don't doubt it can be safe and most likely is safe but as I don't know anything about it whatsoever, it won't be happening.

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