Roblox and minecraft for the uninitiated

(21 Posts)
handsforfeet Sat 09-Jan-21 20:26:05

I have 5 year old twins who LOVE YouTube. They watch complete shite - unboxing, other kids playing with toys they own and aren't interested in, weird cartoon vignettes. It's a very effective reward bribe but I was wondering if I should encourage them into something like roblox/minecraft as an activity with a bit more purpose.

However I know nothing about either. Of course I could google this, but I wanted opinions on whether this is something worth encouraging or just leave them to the YouTube chewing gum for the mind.

Ds in particular loves his screens and my husband is concerned that a game won't actually replace YouTube he'll just campaign for additional tablet time.

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 09-Jan-21 20:27:50

My 6yo ds has monitored time on both Roblox and Minecraft. He prefers watching YouTube videos of people playing both of them hmm

Honestly....it's the 2020 equivalent of the kid playing with the box that the gift came in.

Mummywantsaweewee Sat 09-Jan-21 20:33:51

Minecraft is good as computer games go, (I used to play it a bit before I had a baby!) you have to learn to gather and forage and manage resources to survive. Also teaches a bit about mining and minerals and different tree types (can hopefully transfer to a nature walk or something in real life!)
There’s also a “creative” mode which allows them unlimited access to all blocks (materials) to build insane crazy towers etc. But good to get them to use the survival mode so they can’t just cheat the whole time. E.g you have to cut tree down to get wood to make your first pick axe, to mine stone so you can build a decent shelter so you have somewhere safe overnight. Kill a sheep to get wool (and meat) and more wood chopping to build a bed.
Later on you get to do cool stuff like mine diamonds, go to the “nether” (underworld/lava land).
Also if they have friends on it, it’s a good way to get them to interact while they can’t attend school due to lockdown/ get them all to play minecraft while they have a Skype meet-up?
Roblox I haven’t got a clue about I’m afraid.

FirstPost99 Sat 09-Jan-21 20:34:34

I also came here to say my 8 year old & 5 year old like Minecraft/Roblox but they LOVE watching other people play it on YouTube even more hmmconfused so good luck grin

FireUnderpants Sat 09-Jan-21 21:17:13

I got massively into Minecraft during the first lockdown with DS. So much that I set up my own world that he can't help with/mess up. (lava pit next to a wooden house) Different materials make different strength tools, there are mobs to avoid/battle, you can build a farm and grow crops. I got ridiculously excited the first time I found diamonds in a mine.

EveryoneHasLostTheGame Sat 09-Jan-21 21:47:53

Minecraft yes, but I know roblox has been an issue for quite a few people I know, mainly with the kids spending a fortune on in-apps. My 12 year old nephew spent £50 in small transactions over Xmas and my friends daughter behaviour went tight downhill when she wasn't allowed on roblox for hours a day. She flung and broke her iPad in the end.

Your husband has a good point about it not reducing YouTube. If anything he might to watch while he plays a video game or watch more for ideas and strategies etc. So I'd maybe make sure he understands if he's playing the game then he doesn't get to watch or divide his screen time up into categories such as 30 mins watching programmes or a show and 30 mins playing a video game.

I know I've spent almost as many hours watching animal crossing vids on YouTube as I have playing it 🙈.

handsforfeet Sun 10-Jan-21 09:55:30

Thanks guys, that was helpful. I'm still torn as to whether playing and then watching other kids strategise a game is better use of time than watching kids unpack new toys?

However I might just wait til they ask about it.

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RoganJosh Sun 10-Jan-21 10:11:04

Minecraft can be quite sweet but probably a bit old for them still.
IMO Roblox is a necessary evil, only give it to them when they ask, when ‘all their friends’ have it apart from them. I’d wait a couple of years.

Ours were still very into the Peppa pig games at that point I think! Maybe just coming out of them. Then there are all the Toca games, look at them.

DinosaurOfFire Sun 10-Jan-21 11:10:20

Playing Minecraft is definitely better than watching unboxing videos. It also has things like redstone (which makes power) and is a good intro to coding as a result. Playing minecraft has also taught my kids how to use the keyboard and mouse on the pc, its kind of like lego but on the computer. Dh and I play as well with our friends, its one of those games that can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

handsforfeet Sun 10-Jan-21 11:22:34

@DinosaurOfFire I actually didn't think of that - I could set them up on the old laptop and then they can't access YouTube and will learn some pc skills.

However I don't think it'll scratch the YouTube itch and he will probably still whinge for it.

This homeschooling malarkey is a difficult balance, I want them to have down time but I really hate that their favourite thing to do is watch other kids play/open toys.

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Mummywantsaweewee Sun 10-Jan-21 12:49:15

To be honest as an adult I find YouTube a massive waste of time. Granted there’s lots of useful and enjoyable stuff but it’s so easy to waste hours of your life watching other people talk about sh*t.
Personally I’d rather my kid (when older) played minecraft than watch mindless YouTube unboxings. At least that way they learn something, and are using their brains to think about what they have to do next. How did they end up finding these videos in the first place? Just disable the YouTube apps on the devices they use, you’re the parent after all.

handsforfeet Sun 10-Jan-21 13:35:54

@Mummywantsaweewee of course I could just stop them watching youtube. However life is pretty taxing for all of us right now and if it brings them 30 minutes pleasure and encourages them to knuckle down to hours of home schooling then I don't have a huge issue with it per se. It also gives us complete silence when it's needed for work phone calls, which TV etc doesn't.

My question was whether encouraging minecraft et al would be a more stimulating way of bringing the same satisfaction for them. The responses seem a bit mixed bag on that front.

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Mogwaimug Sun 10-Jan-21 13:41:15

My kids enjoy gaming. They both like minecraft and roblox. But they do also still enjoy watching the videos about the games on you tube too!

I can't stand unboxing videos! At least with gaming videos they are getting tips and ideas for their own games.

PastMyBestBeforeDate Sun 10-Jan-21 13:44:59

I would definitely pick Minecraft over Roblox. Ds moved on from the sort of YouTube watching you describe to a world building environment and then to Minecraft. Now he's doing it on an Xbox (amongst other things) and playing it with his friends. There are educational angles, we found a chemistry add on that allows you to select and combine elements to make things.
He does have far too much screen time but it's been great socially during lockdown especially as I'm disabled and shielding.
It hasn't stopped the YouTube watching though. He just watches videos of different games being played.

handsforfeet Sun 10-Jan-21 13:52:48

Thanks all. I think I'd rather him watch other kids gaming than other kids unboxing even if he is on YouTube. I might try and see if I can work out minecraft myself tonight (I'm a huge gaming virgin and tbh a bit intimidated by computer games).

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TheMandalorian Sun 10-Jan-21 13:53:44

Out of interest how do you stop them watching video nasties on you tube? I know there's a kids version but I still found my kid directed to wierd stuff, presumably made by teens, related to what they were watching. Eg I would start him off with a train track building thing and it would quickly move on to some scary halloween style train thing with semi naked spiderman being run over by a train.
I just don't let him have WiFi access now. They still have loads of games and apps downloaded but locked down.

RoganJosh Sun 10-Jan-21 13:55:40

Ours were only allowed to watch three or four ‘vetted’ people. We were really strict on this and they grassed each other up for watching anyone else. We also tried to keep them near us while watching.

handsforfeet Sun 10-Jan-21 14:03:52

@TheMandalorian tbh were probably not as hot on this as we should be. They watch the kids YouTube and they're very quick to come to us if something is "wrong". He also has a tendency not to watch while videos and just quickly flicks through them - another reason I'd like to move him to something else as I don't think it helps with concentration.

My daughter isn't as wedded to YouTube and is just as happy to watch Netflix. But he loves it.

I've just subscribed to Disney+ to see if that has the same "treat" value

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Mummywantsaweewee Sun 10-Jan-21 14:10:53

@handsforfeet well why not ease them in? Say they can watch YouTube but say you’d like them to try watching videos of kids building stuff in minecraft and then ask if they’d like to follow it (like a tutorial) to achieve the same thing?
Once they get into it I’m sure they’ll enjoy it. I actually really really miss playing Minecraft myself but I try to do something more beneficial with my spare time now like read a book or clean the house 😂 it is a cracking game though. My nephew watches YouTube vids of structures being built and follows along in real life.

LickEmbysmiling Sun 10-Jan-21 14:47:14

Animal Jam Is brilliant, gentle, lots of creativity.
Minecraft is amazing, I'm staggered by it really, compared to them pack man of my youth! Endless play opportunities.
Roblox is alot of fun, it was 7 year olds savour in the last lock down.

As with all games, one has to look at safety settings, check who they chat too etc.

FusionChefGeoff Sun 10-Jan-21 17:11:23

There's a huge range of games that are age appropriate (and dare I say it, educational) and for ours were very much 'desirable' as a reward.

Just tell them they can still have the iPad for xxx minutes for games and xxx minutes for YouTube shit.

CBeebies has a great app, teach your monster to read, peppa pig, hit the button (maths), puzzle games eg Tozzle

I love Minecraft but it's probably too advanced for them at 5 abs you will end up having to sit with them which defies the whole point!

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