Here at Some Awesome Minecraft, we passionately encourage families to play Minecraft together. This server actually started out as a LAN server that our family played on for about a year before it was made public for our gaming community, so we know how valuable it is for families to be able to get the quality time that this game provides.
We believe that Minecraft is not just a great game to play, but it is also an amazing educational tool. Kids of all ages can learn incredible practical and social skills just from performing everyday actions within the Minecraft world especially on a multiplayer server. Your kids can become not only smarter, but more well-adjusted simply by logging on and playing for just a few hours a week. Consider this extensive and in-no-way-exhaustive list of benefits your child gets from playing Minecraft:
- Builds require math and an understanding of shapes and colors to construct.
- Farming and animals teach patience, responsibility, and resource management.
- Crafting items provides a catalyst for following complex sets of directions.
- Interacting with other players imbues a sense of social structure and etiquette.
- Following the chat encourages reading and comprehension.
- Fighting mobs, navigating caves, and leading animals helps with dexterity and hand/eye coordination.
- Adventuring out into unpopulated parts of the world teaches exploration, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and bravery.
All of this on a game where there is no blood, very little “realistic” violence, and limitless opportunity for expansion. Most importantly, it gives parents something to bond over and participate in with the kids. I hope you see the potential this game has for your kids the same way we do. Suffice to say, we’re big fans.
Because there is such an emphasis on family play, we’ve been privy to a number of situations that have made it necessary for us to clarify for folks and put a few extra rules in place when it comes to how families interact on the server and with each other. So if you are planning on playing with your children, or your children just want to play by themselves and you want to let them on the server, we ask that you observe the following guidelines and make sure that your kids understand them as well:
1. Children Must Follow The Same Rules as Adults
By this we mean that your children should understand that they are being held to most of the same expectations as the rest of the players when it comes to respecting other players’ things. While we ARE more liberal with the amount of warnings that children will receive for infractions, repeated annoyance, harassment, theft, or destruction of other people’s builds will still be met with removal from the server if it cannot be adequately handled by the parents.
We do make it a point to try to inform the parents of unacceptable behavior first by friend requesting them on Facebook in order to start a dialogue by way of private message. If this cannot be done, we will move to reaching out to the parents through server chat, and lastly by tagging the parents in the group if need be. We do our best to keep infractions by children out of the limelight if at all possible, so please help us in doing that. We prefer to leave removal from the whitelist as a very last resort in the event that parents cannot be contacted in a timely fashion.
To that end, we will usually assume that whatever punishment you come up with for your kids is better than anything we could do to get them in line. For the record, we find that temporarily grounding them from Minecraft is particularly effective, but a stern talking to and a review of the rules may be just fine.
2. Kids 17 and Under Require a Parent’s Permission to Join
In the past, we’ve let teenagers on the server without oversight or approval from their parents. To date, with the exception of a small handful of players, this has unfortunately always ended with removing them from the whitelist. Because of this, we now require that anyone under the age of 18 have parental permission and that the parent be part of the Facebook group so that we can contact them in the event that there are problems with their gameplay. The parent is not required to play, but we do ask that they be easily reached if need be. We feel that if these older kids knew that we could contact their parents, they would be more inclined to follow the rules.
3. Kids Under 12 Require a Whitelisted Parent to Join
Anyone who has a child under the age of 12 playing on our servers MUST also have their own Minecraft account whitelisted. While we are happy to help introduce the next generation of Minecraft players to multiplayer gaming, we also do require that parents be responsible for their children while on our servers. Our server, the admins, & the other players are not babysitters nor required to entertain your child when they’re online.
It has been our experience that younger children who play without a parental presence tend to have a harder time remembering & grasping the rules, as well as the intricacies of multiplayer gameplay. On the flip side, parents who do not play the game tend to have less understanding as to our rules & the necessity for them, which makes it difficult for them to know what their children might be doing.
4. If Your Child Cannot Yet Read, They Require Supervision At All Times While Playing
It may come as a surprise to some, but we do have children on the server playing who are as young as four years old. For those who can’t yet read (or read well enough to understand the chat and/or in-game signs), we ask that the parent be with them at all times. Whether that means the parent is also on the server on another profile or just watching over their shoulder while on the profile of the parent, either way is fine for us. It is just our experience that the only way to stop younger children who are breaking rules (a lot of time unknowingly) is to kick them from the server, and we prefer not to do that.
5. Children Sharing a Parent’s Account Must Be Announced
If your family only has one account (which is totally understandable at a $26 price tag), then we ask that you announce when your child is playing on your account, whether this is through the server chat when logging on or in the Facebook group (preferred) so an admin is sure to see it. Please note that any issues that arise from your child being on your account have to be rectified by the parent.
6. Admins are There to Help, but They are Not Babysitters
The same goes for other adult players. They like to help, but they aren’t online to babysit young players.
We understand that kids might take a little more guiding to get into the flow of the game, and while we encourage the parent to be the one to do this, we get that it isn’t always possible. If that is the case, we are happy to show your child around, give them the rundown on where everything is, and provide them with a starter set of tools from the community chests. In some situations, with regards to builds, we are occasionally generous with providing them with a few materials.
However, as it is our goal to teach respectfulness and resourcefulness here on the server, we ask that your children refrain from asking for help too much of the time or requesting items they could easily craft or gather themselves. There are several resources easily available around the Command Tower right near the world spawn. Also, once we have given your child an answer regarding their request, we expect that it be accepted and not argued or repeated. The admins typically have A LOT on their plates to deal with and cannot be expected to be at the beck and call of the children all the time. We love playing the game with them and watching them grow as players, but we are not there to placate their every desire.
We consider ourselves to be a learning server due in fact to a lot of our players may be new to Minecraft or new to multiplayer game play itself. However, this is not a school. If your child is found to be willingly and/or repeatedly insubordinate to the admins, punishments may be decided by us, which could possibly include:
- Grounding (or more accurately, temp banning for a few days up to a few weeks)
- Muting (removing your child’s ability to chat)
- Disqualifying (if the infractions happen while the child is engaged in a contest)
- Disabling the child’s ability to place or break blocks
- Moving the child to another location in which to conduct themselves
We also expect that your child be able to interact with the other children in a way that is amiable and encouraging. Kids who are found to be bossy, overly demanding, prone to guilt trips, or demeaning to other children (or players in general) will be reprimanded.
Reprimands will begin with a warning and a discussion with the parents. From there, a second reprimand will put the family on a 30 day probationary period in which any further infractions will be met with one of the above punishments for the child. If issues persist, it is possible that we will be forced to remove the family in its entirety from the whitelist until further notice.
7. Parents May Be Liable For Removal of a Child’s Account from the Whitelist
While this has never happened, we must be insistent that, in the case that a parent is removed from the whitelist for unacceptable behavior, any account that the parent has direct access to will also be removed. This includes spouses, close friends, and, unfortunately, kids as well. Due to the potential for griefing that may come from having direct access to another account that is allowed on the server, this is a precaution that must be taken by us to ensure that the other players are protected. Again, this has never happened, and we hold out hope that it never will.
Alternately, if a child is permanently removed from the whitelist after the above disciplinary measures, and is found to be accessing a parent’s, family member’s, or close friend’s account, that account as well as any remaining family members’, is also likely to be removed.
If you have any questions regarding any of these guidelines, please feel free to contact an admin, or use the contact form here on the website for general inquiries. With that said, we hope you and your family find our server to be as much fun as our families do!