3 Major Reasons Why Kids Love Minecraft So Much
For companies who spend as much time as our company engaging with/researching kids, their play habits and their media consumption, Minecraft is utterly ubiquitous in this day and age. It is THE one game/app which comes up time and time again when we ask kids what they like playing with/on. Moreover, the amount of time kids can/do spend within the Minecraft world is often surprising to those who don’t know much about it/don’t quite get it!
There are some really important fundamental drivers of the Minecraft habit that speak to the situation and world of today’s kids. For adults raised in a pre-digital age, it’s easy to presume things are still the same, and frankly they are not! Here’s some of the reasons why kids love Minecraft:
1. Freedom! – kids today have significantly less freedom than their parents or grandparents generations. Due to the perceived risk of stranger danger and because society as a whole is altogether more health and safety conscious, today’s kids don’t get to run about freely outside of/away from their homes like in past generations. So in the absence of physical freedom one of the primary drivers of Minecraft engagement for kids is virtual freedom – Minecraft offers free form play and exploration.
2. Imaginative Creation – functionally speaking one of the main drivers for Minecraft play is similar as for physical construction toys i.e. creating physical shapes, forms and structures in both a structured and free form creative way. In the same way as kids play with Lego and other similar toys in different ways e.g. some take on a more exact engineering like approach to constructing, whereas others are more engaged in fantasy and using their imaginations, so approaches to Minecraft play vary. The considerable advantage Minecraft has over physical construction toys come from the digital format i.e. considerable cost difference and less limited envirnoment/building materials featured in Minecraft versus real world physical play and the ability to save where you are upto whenever you like without mum/mom making you tidy everything away!
3. Minecraft Is More Parentally Approved Than Many Other Fun Games/Apps – kids LOVE playing on tablets. Parents on the other hand don’t like kids having excessive screen tim, even though they may welcome the peace and quiet for a while! Minecraft has the advantage of being seen as more worthy/beneficial play than pure arcade style gaming apps. In a recent study we conducted across countries for a major kids entertainment brand we found that children often manage to extend their Minecraft time by creating Minecraft scenarios, environments and buildings that relate to their school study topics, thus giving them significantly greater opportunity to play Minecraft for longer than would otherwise be the case!
by Steve Reece, CEO of Kids Brand Insight, a leading Consultancy to toy, game and kids entertainment companies around the world, which helps companies find the right toy & game factories, consumer research test their products with kids and parents and secure export distribution/market entry around the world.