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Yr 7 DS and Minecraft computer game after school

(63 Posts)
mintchocchick Thu 04-Oct-12 22:07:20

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.

CiderwithBuda Sat 06-Oct-12 17:13:06

Mine too! Year 7.

He is still into Playstation (FIFA 13) and computer (Football Manager) and Fantasy Football.

He wants to set up a server but neither DH nor I understand that bit so we have put him off for the moment. DH worried about security I think.

DS is good at coming home and getting straight down to homework although I know he rushes it to get it over and done with. He plays MC on the laptop while watching TV with us.

Can anyone explain the server thing to me. Very simply please?

Coffeeformeplease Sat 06-Oct-12 17:31:49

Another MC addict here (Year 7)!
Seems to be the thing to do for year 6, 7, 8, even 9 from what I hear from friends.
My son is not allowed on the computer before school, and after school he does his homework before he can play. Not every day and only for a restricted time (1 hour usually).

Coffeeformeplease Sat 06-Oct-12 17:32:59

Cider, I don't understand the server bit either so son is not allowed to have his own until I have looked into it.

NoSoggyBottoms Sat 06-Oct-12 18:03:27

I love this thread grin...sounds like your talking about my Y7 DS too!

Like others have said, it's better than some other more bloody games (I mean bloody literally here!)

Also, his knowledge of rocks is improving...although he was surprised when shown sandstone in school as it didn't look the same as in Minecraft! lol

It's social as he can play with others or creates conversation points...very handy for DS who struggles in social situations

I secretly enjoy it too, although wasn't impressed that one of his friends built a big staircase near my house, grr!! lol

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 02:35:48

What is mine craft like? Would it be suitable for a 10.6 yo Y6 who loves computer games? What equipment would he need? It sounds like he would enjoy it.

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 02:43:58

This is the 'norm' I'm afraid. My Ds is 14, absolutely loves MC and is on Skype with his friends and cousin too...I think it looks the most boring game ever hmm

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 02:46:23

I could probably ask Ds to explain the server to you in the morning if you want?

Coffeeformeplease Sun 07-Oct-12 06:54:13

Yes please, Solo.

headinhands Sun 07-Oct-12 07:23:00

Haha. Another mum here who listens to bizarre and hilarious arguments emanating from the bedroom. 'You killed my dog!' 'It was an accident, I just fell down your mine, you should fence it off.''It took me ages to train him, I don't have any bones left!' and so on.

I can see the appeal. It is a very simple and hence playable game. I LOVE the zombie noises. They remind me of dh staggering off to the toilet in the middle of the night.

SoupDragon Sun 07-Oct-12 08:17:30

I asked DSs about the server thing and they looked at me blankly. Which is good because, having googled it, no way on earth are they setting one up.

It seems to involve allowing others access to your computer and, as we have no idea how to make this secure it won't be happening in this house. The tutorial warns you not to do it unless you know what you are doing - we ae clueless so no chance!

lljkk Sun 07-Oct-12 10:59:12

There are different levels of access with servers, the idea is that most players are just players & they can't do anything except within the game.

However, DS has learnt the hard way that letting others be an "Op" (?operator) is a recipe for trouble, they won't be responsible & they end up doing all sorts of things DS thinks of as rampant vandalism or cheating (DS is right fusspot about such things). He was in tears last night about it (poor guy). Hard lesson learned, I fear.

And this is after I strongly advised him not to OP anybody! I think he's gotten away with it, though, without too much harm done, and hopefully has learnt a solid lesson.

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 12:58:56

Hi, it's Solo's Ds here Coffeeformeplease
These are some things you need to understand before creating a minecraft server.
Exerts from the MinecraftWiki:
Before following these instructions please note that running server software on your computer without a clear understanding of what you are doing may seriously harm your system and lead to vulnerabilities. Do not open ports in your router without knowing exactly what you are doing."

Since you're about to run your own server, you should be aware of the possible dangers. Although we can not prevent people from running their server and putting themselves at risk, we may at least appeal that you don't do it when having no idea what you actually do. Running by the instructions below should not put you at any risk, but since this is a wiki which everybody is allowed to edit, and we don't know about your system configuration, we cannot guarantee you'll be out of danger. In order to run your server and stay out of trouble, we strongly recommend you should at least know about the following:
Networking in general (IP, DHCP, ports etc.)
Your system configuration
Your network configuration
Your router configuration (if you want other people to connect over Internet)
How to use and configure your personal firewall (shutting it down is NOT an option!)"

In essence what you would need to do with regards to creating the server is download all of the necessary software, i shall link these downloads here:

The sub-heading 'multiplayer server' is where you will be able to download the program for this.

I won't run into specifics at all the different booster software to download (even though it's free) I.E. Hamachi which helps to maintain the servers connection and keep it from being laggy (slow).

The main thing you should understand is that hosting a multiplayer is not without risk; if your Ds gives the IP to his friends and his friends give it to his friends, many people could join the server and destroy all the 'hard' work done by your Ds and his friends.

Unless you or your Ds do something that you don't quite understand you should be fine, but if you don't understand then i would leave it and not bother having the server.

However after downloading the 'multiplayer server' download from the link above, this turorial on youtube may be able to help.

The only other thing is paid hosting from companies like '' but i wouldn't because £10 a month is quite a lot for such a simple game.

I would suggest not even bothering as it's a lot of hassle, but if you wish to do so that youtube tutorial is quite informative.

any more questions just ask smile

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 13:05:22

Soupdragon they will not be able to access your computer, but they will be able to go on the server, which will be hosted BY your computer and your internet connection, i am unaware that they can gain access to your computer, and unless your Ds has friends of global hacking stature i highly doubt they could access your computer, hosting a server is MINIMAL risk at worst.
My above post has a youtube link in it, click on that give it a watch, explains how to setup a server.

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.

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

Ds says "Fair point!" grin

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.

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.

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

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!!

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!"


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.

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?

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.

mintchocchick Mon 08-Oct-12 20:14:13

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!

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.

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