Camp Blog | Emagination Tech Camps

Learn About Digital Arts and Media at Summer Computer Camp

At Emagination Tech Camps, we’re elated to consistently provide a balanced experience to the campers who join us each summer. There is a ton of flexibility when it comes to the types of camps available, along with the locations that are offered.

One thing that makes our camps unique is the fact that campers can customize their experience based on exactly what they want to do. There are courses available for campers of every age and skill level, and all of the tech courses you see were offered at each of our locations. There’s also an opportunity to mold your experience in such a way that you can combine time doing techy things with also being outside to do typical summer camp stuff, or just focus on all tech stuff during your time with us.

A popular offering for us includes Digital Art & Media, an area of our camps where we actually offer the most courses to potentially interested in campers. These courses are available at all five of our locations (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania) and are open to children from ages 8 to 17.

Emagination Tech Camps - Digital Arts

We can’t go through all of the Digital Art & Media courses right now, so we’ll talk about four that your camper may want to learn more about.

3D Animated Shorts
If you sign up for this class, be sure to bring a 32GB flash drive, which is recommended. It’s open to all ages and skill levels and uses Autodesk 3DS max software. Campers will leave the course with a 15-30 second animated scene that they’ve created, which is super cool! They’ll also get exposure to storyboarding, keyframe and walk cycle animation techniques, and an idea of how to use state-of-the-art software used by animation professionals.

Augmented Reality
Just the title of this course sounds interesting, doesn’t it? After all, our Augmented Reality course allows campers to dive into transformative technologies that are changing the experiences in entertainment, science, and medicine. The course is open to all campers, but they’ll need an Android smartphone and a free Unity account.

They’ll be able to head home with an augmented scene with 3D assets while also having learned about User Interface scripting, how to implement interactive virtual objects, and how to mix a pre-rendered scene with a real-life environment.

Photoshop
We’ve all likely heard of Photoshop at one point in our lives, but not everybody has actually used the software. And while some people have heard about it and used the software, there still room for improvement from an experience level. By the end of class, campers will be able to create custom 2D images and GIF animations, along with learning about how to manipulate layers and filters.

Web Design
Have you ever wanted to create your own website? Well, here’s your chance! Open to all campers, our web design course allows participants to be exposed to a number of different types of software: XAMPP, HTML5, CSS, PHP, and WordPress. Campers will leave with having created their own website that features a personal interest. They’ll also get exposed to things like HTML5 coding structure, stylesheet creation (CSS), and how to use PHP to embed dynamic features.

Check Out These Fun Activities to Look Forward to at Summer Tech Camp

We know that you’re heading to tech camp this summer for one main reason – you want to learn more about technology. Whether that includes video game design, coding, engineering, or digital media and art, there’s something you enjoy participating in already that you want to learn more about.

While that’s the focus of our camps – and for good reason because we are a tech camp, after all – it’s also the summertime, which is a perfect reason to also find a way to spend time outside. At Emagination Tech Camps, we believe in campers getting some “unplugged” time during their experience with us, but we also know it’s not right to force that kind of experience onto you if you don’t want it.

There are a couple of different ways to customize your tech camp experience. That includes choosing three tech courses with one recreation activity, or simply picking four different tech courses. Each of our tech courses meets for 1.5 hours between 9am and 4pm, which also includes a break from 12-1p for lunch and unstructured free time to do whatever campers would like to do.

Getting Uplugged

As for the recreational activities, though, there are a variety of organized activities that will allow them to have a blast. We wanted to spend some time detailing those specific activities below.

Swimming
Although this particular activity isn’t available at our Pennsylvania location, campers of all ages and skill levels at every other location only need a bathing suit and towel to participate here. It’s summertime, which means it’s likely hot wherever you’ve decided to attend tech camp. Swimming with some of your new camp friends is a great way to cool off, unwind, and also get a little exercise before getting back in front of a computer or sitting back down for class.

Field Games
If swimming isn’t your thing and you’d also still like to get some Vitamin D by being outside in the sun, then maybe choosing one of the field games is an option for you. There are a number of different options within this broad name, including dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, capture the flag, larping, and more.

If you attend tech camp at our Georgia location, there is also an option to hold these kinds of activities inside the air-conditioned gym if the heat truly gets untenable.

Indoor Games
Maybe you’d prefer to do something other than taking another tech course and would rather it not be something super athletic. That’s totally understandable, and we have some options for you! There are tons of group activities available in this option, including checkers, Risk, Battleship, or Apples to Apples. You also have the opportunity to bring other games from home, including Magic the Gathering or other kinds of TCG decks.

Dungeons & Dragons
If you’re a D&D fan, then this is your chance to create your own character and join others on a fantasy adventure. This would allow you to engage in battles, gather treasure, and solve problems together. Campers also have the option to bring D&D books, dice, or other accessories if they’d like.

Here’s What You’ll Learn at Coding Camp

At Emagination Tech Camps, we’re elated to consistently provide a balanced experience to the campers who join us each summer. There is a ton of flexibility when it comes to the types of camps available, along with the locations that are offered.

One thing that makes our camps unique is the fact that campers can customize their experience based on exactly what they want to do. There are courses available for campers of every age and skill level, and all of the tech courses you see were offered at each of our locations. There’s also an opportunity to mold your experience in such a way that you can combine time doing techy things with also being outside to do typical summer camp stuff, or just focus on everything tech during your time with us.

Emagination Coding Camp

A popular offering for us includes coding camp, which is specifically available for teens aged 13 to 17, enabling them to learn how to code using Java, which is one of today’s most popular dynamic programming languages. If you’re looking for coding camp for a student that’s aged 12 and under, don’t worry! We have options available for them, too.

While it’s helpful to generally know what you or your student will be learning at coding camp this summer, what are the specifics? We like including as many details as possible so you all can make decisions as a family over what makes the most sense.

There are five different coding classes campers have to choose from at tech camp, all of which you can see right here. For today, though, we’re going to focus on the following three specifically.

AI & Machine Learning
This particular course is open to anyone, but the prerequisites include a skill level of intermediate to advanced, along with both a working knowledge of algebra and prior programming experience.

Campers will leave this class having made constructs for sampled learning and classification while also learning quite a bit of information. Some of this information includes getting a breakdown of the history of artificial intelligence, data modeling and the uses in machine learning, an understanding of linear progression, and the basics of probability theory, plus its use in classification modeling algorithms.

Coding Basics with Python
As long as you have a working knowledge of algebra, beginner and intermediate tech campers will be able to participate in this particular class. The software being used is obviously Python, but also Pycharm, and students will walk away having created custom Python programs. In addition to getting programming fundamentals, campers will also get exposed to object-oriented design principles, variables, loops, and functions, and Boolean logic.

Coding in Java
Open to all ages and skill levels, this gives campers a chance to learn to code using Java, which, as we mentioned previously, is the most popular of the dynamic programming languages. The software used in this class includes Java SDK and Eclipse IDE, which will allow campers to head home with a working Java application. They’ll also learn how to build cross-platform applications, get exposed to programming logic and implementation, and gain a solid foundation of programming skills to build upon looking into the future.

Here’s What You Can Learn About Video Game Design at Summer Camp

At Emagination Tech Camps, we’re elated to consistently provide a balanced tech camp experience to the campers who join us each summer. There is a ton of flexibility when it comes to the types of camps available, along with the locations that are offered.

One thing that makes our camps unique is the fact that campers can customize their experience based on exactly what they want to do. There are courses available for campers of every age and skill level, and all of the tech courses you see were offered at each of our locations. There’s also an opportunity to mold your experience in such a way that you can combine time doing techy things with also being outside to do typical summer camp stuff, or just focus on everything tech during your time with us.

Emagination Game Design

A popular area of courses that we offer include video game design, which obviously sounds attractive to anyone and everyone who loves playing video games. However, the academic component of video game design goes much further than grabbing the controllers to your Xbox.

With that in mind, here are five different game design classes campers can choose from.

Action Game Design
This course uses the GameMaker software, and it’s specifically designed for campers to progress at their own pace since there is content available from beginner level to advanced. At the end of the course, campers will have created a 2D action game and learn about basic 2D game design theory, the differences and similarities among action games, along with developing their troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.

Battle Royale Game Design
This course uses the Unreal Game Engine Software, and also requires campers to sign up for a free Epic Games account before starting the course. They’ll finish this experience with a Battle Royale Style game while learning about level design and editing for this specific software. Campers will also get exposed to player interactions, asset allocation and development, project workflow management, and node-based visual programming.

Game Design Elements
This course has a little bit of a different feel compared to the first two we described. It’s open to all ages, but campers must bring a home game creation set with them and $35 for lab fees. They’ll finish the course with a card or board game, while learning about the similarities and differences among game genres, the development of a storyline and theme, and how to create progression and balance in a game.

Level Design
This particular course uses Warcraft 3 and RPG Maker as the software, and students leave the experience with an Anime RPG and a Strategy game. While they’re with us, they’ll learn about what goes into planning a basic strategy game, game map editing, RPG design theory, simple game scripting, character action and interaction, and how to import tilesets, sprites, battle animations, and backgrounds.

Minecraft World Design
Campers need to have a Mojang (also known as Minecraft) account available upon joining this particular class. However, they’ll leave having created a custom Minecraft world and having experience in building teamwork skills and how to manage and budget their resources appropriately.

Where Are the Best 2020 Coding Camps Located?

As a family-owned company that’s been around for 30-plus years now, we here at Emagination Tech Camps are super excited about the kind of experience we provide to campers each and every summer. They not only get an opportunity to get practical instruction and experience with their technology of choice, but they also get a chance to go outside and be a kid at camp – which is exactly what they are!

One of the biggest benefits to our camps is that there’s a bunch of hands-on learning and no online tutorials for anything. We want campers to express their creativity, advance their technology skills, and make some friends, along with learning how to be on their own, which helps boost their own self confidence.

Emagination Coding Camp

An offering in particular that we get a lot of interest in on an annual basis is our coding camps, which are available to children aged 13 to 17. There are both day and overnight programs available throughout the summer at each of our locations, and these camps typically last for two weeks.

Coding camps are great because they help campers learn how to code (which, we suppose is a little obvious, but still!) using one of today’s most popular computer languages: Java. Campers will learn the programming fundamentals and code in Java, which will help build for different types of applications for Windows, XML Web services, distributed components, and client server applications.

Now that you’re convinced to join one of our Emagination Coding Camp experiences this summer, it’s important to know a handful of details, like locations, dates, times, and prices, among other things. We’re proud to offer our coding camps in five different states this year, and all the pertinent details are available below.

Connecticut
College Campus: Fairfield University
Location: Fairfield, CT
Dates Offered: June 28th – July 10th and July 26 – August 7 (overnight). June 29 – July 10th and July 27 – August 7 (day).
Tuition: $2,995 (overnight), $1,595 (Day), $1,775 (Extended Day), or $1,895 (Full Day)

Georgia
College Campus: Mercer University
Location: Atlanta, GA
Dates Offered: June 7 – June 19th and July 5th – July 17th (overnight). June 8 – June 19th and July 6th – July 17th (Day).
Tuition: $2,645 (overnight), $1,495 (Day), Extended Day ($1,695), and $1,895 (full day)

Illinois
College Campus: Lake Forest College
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Dates Offered: June 14th – June 26th and July 12th – July 24th (overnight) July 13 – July 24th (Day).
Tuition: $2,995 (overnight), $1,495 (Day), $1,695 (Extended Day), $1,895 (Full Day).

Massachusetts
College Campus: Bentley University
Location: Boston, MA
Dates Offered: June 28th – July 10th and July 26th – August 7th (overnight). June 29th – July 10th and July 27th – August 7th.
Tuition: $2,995 (overnight), $1,595 (Day), $1,775 (Extended Day), $1,895 (full day).

Pennsylvania
College Campus: Rosemont College
Location: Rosemont, PA
Dates Offered: June 28th – July 10th and July 26th – August 7th (overnight). June 29th to July 10th and July 27th – August 7th (Day).
Tuition: $2995 (overnight), $1,495 (Day), $1,695 (Extended Day), $1,895 (Full Day).

5 Things You Can Learn at Summer Tech Camp

If your child loves technology and wants to spend part of their summer surrounded by it, then you’ve stopped at the right place. Emagination Tech Camps started with humble beginnings in Connecticut, but we’ve stood the test of time since being founded all the way back in 1982.

We’re proud to be doing what we’ve done for so long, especially as a family-owned company that’s accredited by the American Camp Association at our Connecticut and Massachusetts locations. Our mission for camps every single summer is to educate, entertain, and help develop healthy kids and teens. This is done by carefully finding the balance between learning about technology and offering activities and the lifetime benefits of your typical summer camp experience.

So, if we’re talking specifically about Emagination Tech Camps, what are the five areas campers can look forward to learning about?

Create Digital Art and Media

Create Digital Art and Media
As everyone knows these days, way too many things are created by – and even dependent on – computers. The idea of digital art is becoming more and more popular, and having this skill set already in a camper’s back pocket is incredibly useful.

They’ll get a chance to learn more about photoshop, web design, and how to create YouTube videos, but they’ll also have a chance to create a 15-30 second animated scene in our 3D Animated Shorts course.

Learn to Code

Learn to Code
While learning how to create digital art and media is a terrific skill, it’s hard to beat a skill like coding. Campers will learn how to code in different languages, such as Python, C#, and Java, along with getting a basis in AI and machine learning.

Explore Engineering

Explore Engineering
Are you interested in cybersecurity and robotics? Well, then this area of our tech camps may just be perfect for you! But what if you’re just generally interested in engineering and not sure which specific avenue you’d like to go down? That’s OK, too – you can discover engineering concepts in our Explorations in Engineering course as you assemble the electronic components to build and program a Piper with Rasberry Pi micro-computer.

Design Games

Design Games
It’s very common for a camper super interested in technology to also have some level of interest in video games and video game design. If that generally describes your interests, then you’ve come to the right place! Through our Game Design Elements course, you’ll get a broad overview about crucial game design elements, such as theme, aesthetics, balance, and progression.

Get Unplugged

Get Unplugged
We know that you’re planning on attending tech camp because you want to take your computer and STEM skills to a whole other level. However, it’s also still summer, which means one thing – this is still a time to unplug from electronics for a short period of time and get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather! We offer activities such as swimming, field games (ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, capture the flag), indoor games (board games, card games, other group activities), and Dungeons & Dragons.

Preparing Parents for Camp

preparing parents

For most families, sending their child to camp will be a wonderful experience for both the camper and the parents, but for many parents this time away from their child will also be riddled with concerns about everything from if they are brushing their teeth to how they are being treated by the other campers to the care and supervision that they are receiving from staff. While most parents experience these and other concerns, some parents struggle more than others to adjust to the separation from their child. This increasingly common experience for parents has been coined “kidsickness” and for some families, it is even more difficult for parents to adjust to the weeks their child spends at camp than it is for the camper.

The American Camp Association has listed 5 tips that I think benefit all families as they prepare to send their child to camp:

Focus on the positive
“Focus on what is so positive about the experience children will have at camp – the opportunity to have fun while developing social skills, building character and self-respect, spending time in nature, and participating in a community based on caring, fairness, citizenship, and trust.” – Peg L. Smith, ACA CEO

Remember that separation is natural and necessary
“Remember your baby’s first crawl, the first time your child stepped onto a school bus, and his or her first overnight with a friend or relative. These memories are all important developmental phases you and your child successfully navigated. Each successful separation gives your child confidence for the next challenge. Recognize and expect success.” – Peg L. Smith, ACA CEO

You’ve taught them well
“Trust that the connection you have with your child doesn’t break or evaporate when you are physically apart. Everything you have taught them is there. Having anxiety or sadness about seeing them off is entirely reasonable and understandable. How can you love your kids and not have some feelings like these? Yet, one of the most valuable lessons we as adults can model for our children is that even in the face of our feelings, no matter how strong, we do what is best.” – Bob Ditter, family therapist

This is vital preparation
“As our children prepare to eventually leave home permanently, the camp experience will instill independence through summers of fun while helping them acquire skills and assets that will serve them throughout their lives.” – Peg L. Smith, ACA CEO

Share what you are feeling
“Talk with a friend or spouse. What are you feeling? What was the reason for sending your child to camp in the first place? Having an outside perspective can help us look more evenly at our own.” – Bob Ditter, family therapist

STEM Camp for Kids and Teens Ready to Start 14th Season in Atlanta

Emagination Tech Camps, a national operator of summer technology camps, prepares to open its 2017 summer camp season at Mercer University for kids and teens ages 8 – 17, June 4th.

Atlanta, Georgia – Parents and grandparents who are looking for a fun and educational summer camp experience in the greater Atlanta area for their children and grandchildren can register for the 2017 summer camp season at Emagination Computer Camps, hosted at Mercer University which begins its first session June 4.

Emagination, which is in its 14th year of operation in Atlanta and 35th year overall, delivers a program which balances high quality technology learning with the activities and life-long benefits of a traditional summer camp.

During each two-week camp session, campers choose three technology workshops from the 26 the camp offers, including new workshops like 3D Printing, Augmented Reality, and Motion Graphics Programming.

“Emagination is unique compared to other technology camps because we allow our campers to choose more than one subject to study during a session,” said Craig Whiting, owner of Emagination Computer Camps. “If they want to study virtual reality, robotics, and game design, they don’t have to go to three different camps or attend three different sessions, they can do it all here.”

Each camper also takes a recreation workshop which gets the campers outdoors to play field games like capture-the-flag, dodgeball, or ultimate frisbee. Campers also have the option to go swimming. Additional recreational options are available after lunch and during the camp’s evening program.

“Structured and unstructured playtime, as well as socialization, are key components to healthy childhood development which you can’t get sitting in front of a computer,” said Whiting. “That’s why we incorporate it so heavily into our program; we want to offer the most well-rounded summer camp experience that we can.”

Emagination also offers a specialty programs for teenagers. In Emagination Programming Camp, teens 13 – 17 learn how to program with Java, the world’s most popular programming language. This two-week STEM program is balanced with daily recreation and a full evening program for overnight campers.

About Emagination Tech Camps at Mercer University
Mercer University’s beautiful Atlanta campus is situated on 200 impeccably maintained park-like acres in northeast Atlanta. Expansive outdoor fields, an indoor pool and gymnasium, make Mercer an ideal location for summer camp in Georgia and Atlanta day camps. Overnight camp participants are grouped by age and gender and live with counselors in apartment-style housing. All technology camp workshops are held in one centrally located academic building.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe on Social Media

There’s no doubt that we live in a digital world and as our children become more and more tech savvy in this digital age, it’s important that parents maintain a vigilant sense of security when it comes to our children’s online presence.

While having the ability to be instantaneously connected to the world around you and to share your experiences at your fingertips has several benefits, it also opens up a whole new world of risks. From predators to cyberbullies, a child’s misuse of a social network can have serious consequences.

If your child is asking to use, or is already using social media, check out these 10 tips for keeping them safe on social media.

Social Media Safety

1. Educate yourself about social media
Do you remember when the only big social media sites were Facebook and Myspace? That’s not the case anymore. As a parent, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what sites are out there and which are appropriate for your child. Here are some of the most popular social apps and sites for kids and teens:

2. Establish an age limit for your child to start using social media
While you’re familiarizing yourself with what social media sites are out there, you should take a look at what the required minimum age is for each site. Most social media sites require users to be 13 or older to create an account without their parents’ permission, according to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

3. Regularly check your child’s privacy settings.
Once your child has set up a social media account, it’s important to remain vigilant about keeping their privacy settings updated. Social Media sites are continually adding security settings to ensure that maximum protection is available, but oftentimes they need to be updated manually by the user.

4. Keep your child’s profile private.
Most social media sites give you the option to make your account private. This means that only people who your child has friended will be able to see the content on their profile. This is an important step to take in order to keep their content private and away from people who may misuse it.

5. Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, address, or check-ins.
Social media has become such a normal part of people’s lives that it’s not uncommon for people to share information about themselves that shouldn’t be shared. It’s important that your child understands what kinds of information shouldn’t be shared and why.

6. Don’t allow them to post photos or videos which jeopardize their safety or character.
While most people post pictures and videos with the best intentions, it’s easy for things to be taken the wrong way or out of context and when everyone is online, the wrong message can have long-lasting consequences. Talk to your kids about this and make sure they understand to only post pictures and videos that present themselves and others in a positive light.

7. Make sure they choose a strong password.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5? That’s amazing! I’ve got the same combination on my luggage!”

The password scene from the 1987 comedy Spaceballs was funny back then and it’s still funny today because the implications are the same. Would you really use a password as simple as 1,2,3,4,5 to safeguard something important? No, of course you wouldn’t and you should get your kids into the habit as well.

8. Never allow them to accept friend requests from people they don’t know.
This may be self-explanatory, but there are a lot of people out there who use social media to stalk people and steal their information to cause harm. It’s always best practice to only accept friend requests from people your child knows such as their friends and family.

9. Set guidelines/rules for their social media use.
Establishing rules or guidelines from the start is a great way to instill positive habits for your child on social media. However, you don’t want to set up rules which are too strict or else you run the risk of your child actively and secretly trying to break them. Try to make rules that empower your child to make good decisions on their own.

10. Keep an open dialogue with your child.
You can’t monitor your child’s social media activity 24/7, so maintaining a strong line of communication is important to understand what’s going on with your child online. Ask them to inform you whenever they receive messages or invites from strangers. Talk to them about the consequences of misusing social media. Ask them to tell you if someone is teasing or harassing them as those could be signs of cyber-bullying.

If you’re interested in learning more about social media safety, check out the Center on Media and Child Health and kids.gov – both are excellent resources for parents!

A Parents’ Guide to Minecraft

Minecraft is easily one of the most popular video games among children and it has been growing in popularity since its release in 2009. With that level of popularity, it’s not unreasonable for parents to have a few questions about what it is that they’re buying for their kids. I hope to answer several of those questions in this blog post by briefly going over the basics of this game in our Minecraft Guide.

What is Minecraft?

It’s a simple enough question, but one that requires a bit of a long winded response. On the surface, Minecraft doesn’t look like any other game out there on the mainstream market, which is always trying to one-up itself with the quality and realism of its graphics. Minecraft looks more like a 3D version of an 8-bit adventure game from the 1980’s than something that came out in the early 2000’s.

However, the graphics are not what drives the popularity of this game. Instead, unlike many games that are based around lengthy storylines or quick hack-and-slash multiplayer rounds, Minecraft is what is known as a sandbox game where the player is dropped in to a procedurally generated world where the player gathers resources, crafts tools, builds structures, and recreates the world in a way which is only limited by the player’s creativity.

Minecraft

That’s the beauty of Minecraft and what makes this simple looking game so popular with kids and adults (and one of the most popular workshops we offer at camp!). This game is centered around the player’s ability to imagine.

You want to build a house? Done. What about a castle? Done. Well, what about a scaled recreation of planet Earth, or a one-to-one scaled model of the country of Denmark, or an actual working computer? Done, done, and done.

Also, the studio behind the game is always adding new content to the game (for free!) which allows the player to continually create and play in new ways every time he/she plays.

Is this game’s content appropriate for my child?

This is a completely understandable question if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should buy this game for you child. To answer this question, I will first explain a little bit more about how Minecraft is played. Minecraft has two game modes which the player has the choice of playing, each with its own set of rules and challenges.

Survival

Survival is what I call the “basic” game mode. In survival mode, the player has to build their own tools, mine their own resources, and ultimately “survive” by foraging, farming, and crafting food supplies as well as building armor and weapons to fend of the nocturnal and cave dwelling zombies, skeletons, and creepers (a green monster packed with TNT that silently creeps up on players) that will inevitably attack them once the sun goes down.

Sounds scary right? Well, aside from a few moaning sounds from zombies and the surprise of the hissing a creeper makes after sneaking up on you, the game is not really designed to be scary. However, these sounds could be scary to a younger audience.

What about the violence? While a name like “survival” can sound like it would contain a lot of violent actions, the combat in this game is not gory or graphic in any way. The weapons that a player, and some of the monsters, use are limited to a sword or a bow and arrow. There are no guns or explosives (with the exception of TNT, which they can create for mining or building traps). When the player gets hit by an enemy, the screen quickly flashes red and the player gets pushed away from the monsters a little bit. If the player dies they can simply respawn and keep playing the game.

Combat is also completely optional in this game. A player can play without ever swinging a sword or launching an arrow.

Creative

If survival mode sounds too violent or scary for your child, you could consider Creative Mode instead. In this mode, the player has any and all resources available to them from the start so they don’t have to do any mining. This allows them to dive right in to the creative aspect of the game. Also, while in creative mode, the monsters will not attack the player, removing all aspects of violence from the game.

Multiplayer

Minecraft does support several different versions of multiplayer gameplay, both on a local area network or online. In multiplayer, your child will have the chance to play with friends or random other players on servers which have everything from free-play to player created mini games. While the Minecraft online community seems to be a friendly group of people, parents should always monitor their child’s online activity to make sure they are playing in a safe environment.

Is Minecraft Good for my child?

This is what it all comes down to, right? Sitting in front of a computer screen is obviously not healthy. However, unlike most video games, Minecraft does have some attributes to it that can be beneficial for your child.

Minecraft encourages several positive behaviors. For example, working with friends to mine and craft various projects in the game can improve teamwork skills and the previously mentioned freedom to build anything works on a child’s creative skills. Also, encouraging your child to take the time to think and plan out a project before building can improve project management skills.

And don’t forget! You, as a parent, can also get involved and use Minecraft as a family bonding activity.
I hope this brief overview of Minecraft has answered any questions you might have about the game. If you have additional questions, I encourage you to take a look at the Minecraft website or search YouTube for Minecraft videos – they’re a great resource for getting a first-hand look at what this game has to offer.

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