As believers in non-violence we want to raise our children with similar values.
It is widely believed that minecraft games are educational. It looks like children are building - being constructive. It's even often called 'online lego'. So what can go wrong?But while these two games are similar to begin with, the two are vastly different.
Minecraft has several games modes. The creative mode of minecraft is what users see when they first begin using minecraft. But soon users become tired of the limits of the creative mode and delve into the other games modes and that is where the problem lurks.
In its other 'game modes' users are required to kill 'cows' and feed them to other farm animals to progress in the game. As a HinduBuddhist this is where I have most concern about Minecraft.
And the problems run deep. It is as if they are plotting to have the hearts and minds of our children.
Did you know that minecraft features monsters? Yes, in their survival and other modes the user needs to run away from monsters. The user feels the surge of adrenaline when they run from a monster and the very real satisfaction of finally striking diamonds deep in their hand-crafted mine. And that feeling, that richness of experience, can be incredibly compelling. It also means that they have a vested interest in what happens during the game - keeping themselves alive, protecting the fruits of their considerable labour and looking after others. This level of concern can be time-consuming and hard to disengage from. Minecraft is an obsession generating game because of these and many other aspects, mainly the constant novelty in the game and the first person immersion which become addictive.
The company also has another game called slither.io which can be equally addictive and has the cannibalism aspect. In this game the user controls a worm who need to avoid bigger worms and for the worm to grow it needs to feed on other worms.
So how to wean our children off of the game?
Minecraft is a difficult game to stop playing, especially for those kids who are obsessed in it. Users can suffer symptoms of withdrawal when they’re not playing such as irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, depression.
Begin by first finding out what they are doing in the game. Set firm rules and limits on their play and what they can do to other players if they are playing the RPG component of the game.
Talk to them about the negative effects of too much screen time and not getting enough sleep or exercise, and how to recognize the signs that they need to take a break. Give them opportunity to socialize and give them access to other games. Spend time each day talking to them and playing games. Teach them about the dharma and provide them access to safe online sites where they can learn and grow to be wonderful human beings who can make a positive contribution to the society they live in.
First the non-veg fries in and now this. It seems as if there is a concerted effort to subvert the non-violent sensitivities in the world. inspireTrend is an initiative of conscious living. Support and contribute. We will be following up and posting a complaint with the company Mojang regarding this issue.
Update (January 25 2017)