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What Minecraft is teaching your kids about money
During the last few weeks I have been listening to my nine years old son talk passionately about 'Mindcarf' and the 'amazing' creative processes this video game has to offer.
To my surprise I found this article that explains some valuable hidden truths about the game.
Throughout this game children learn valuable concepts such as:
HOW TO START FROM NOTHING
HOW TO PROTECT WHAT YOU HAVE
HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS
HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR SKILLS
I hope you’d find this useful.
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(Reuters) - If your kids are chattering non-stop about things like emeralds, pickaxes and creepers, you may have a unique opportunity to turn a video game addiction into a life lesson about money.
Minecraft, a video game phenomenon with over 100 million users, is such a hot property that Microsoft Corp recently forked out $2.5 billion for its maker, Mojang AB.
Players build their own worlds via game systems, smartphones, tablets and computers using virtual Lego-like pieces. And as opposed to the shoot-'em-up video games that kids usually gravitate toward, this game teaches them about money.
It is "about barter, about value, about how to protect your stuff," says Hank Mulvihill, a financial adviser in Richardson, Texas.
"Kids are learning about money on a lot of different levels in Minecraft," says Joel Levin, co-founder of Manhattan-based TeacherGaming, a firm that works with educators to use video games as teaching tools.
"There are basic currencies, like emeralds that you dig up and can trade with villagers," Levin explains. "There are exchange rates, because certain items are worth more than others. Then players have to think about whether to spend money right away, or save it and get something more rewarding later on. These are analogous to the financial decisions people are making in the real world all the time."
And that is just if you are playing the game on your own. If you are online with multiple players, the financial issues become much more complex.
"At that point, players are setting up actual economies," Levin says. "On a particular server, they may decide that diamonds are the currency of choice. Or some kids start playing the role of a bank, offering loans and charging interest."
Levin is aware of instances where teachers introduce a rare item into the game that kids can't obtain on their own, and then watch them react to the scarcity. "It's supply and demand in action," he says.
HOW TO START FROM NOTHING
Of course, most parents only experience Minecraft by peering over their kids' shoulders and trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
So in case you were wondering, here are a few of Minecraft's key financial lessons:
When starting out in the world of Minecraft, "nobody tells you anything, no instructions," says 19-year-old Harvey Mulvihill, son of Hank, who plays along with his two brothers. "You are a stranger in a strange land, and you have to figure out how to gain resources."
Indeed, Minecraft is a so-called "sandbox" game, in which players roam a virtual world with very few limitations. In that way, it is a riff on the traditional American archetype of the Horatio Alger story - starting from nothing and somehow making a huge success of yourself.