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Create Anything you can imagine!
Minecraft is a creative sandbox game that sparks imagination and fosters creativity and problem solving skills. The game has seen many iterations over the years and can be accessed via Windows 10 PCs, Android devices, iOS phones and tablets, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and virtual reality platforms.
Minecraft was originally developed and launched by Mojang Studios in 2009 and fast become one of the worlds most popular online games. In recent years, Mojang has collaborated with Microsoft to establish Minecraft Education Edition allowing educators and students to leverage exciting modifications for the classroom to promote collaboration, creativity and critical thinking skills. The most popular version of Minecraft for the general consumer today is Minecraft Bedrock Edition. In this blog we will outline the features and provide guidance for how you can support the young gamers in your world play Minecraft Bedrock Edition safely.
Getting started with minecraft Bedrock edition
First, You’ll need a Microsoft Live Xbox Account for each child in your family. This is an @hotmail @outlook or @live email address. Once you have download Minecraft Bedrock from your device App store you will be prompted to login with your Xbox Live account. Here is further support to help you create a child Xbox account and add family members.
Creating a new world in Minecraft can be fun. You can set the game mode to play solo or multiplayer such as siblings/friends that are connected via a LAN (local area network - aka your home Wi-fi network).
Option 1: Create New World (Solo)
When creating a New World, scroll to Edit Settings and click Multiplayer. Ensure Multiplayer Game is switch to Off.
Option 2: Create a New World (Local Area Networks)
To play with a friend or sibling whilst via LAN (home Wi-fi network), Create a New World, scroll to Edit Settings, select Multiplayer On and choose LAN Players On. Ensure that Multiplayer mode is set to ‘Invite Only’. One player must start game play and invite a friend to join. Note: The friend will need to added to the friends list. You can search for friends using their Gamertag (Minecraft ID) see ‘Friend Mode’ below for further instructions.
Friends (Private - with others)
When playing via the Friends tab, this will allow you to connect with your friends. You can Add Friends by searching for their Gamertag. A Gamertag is your username in Minecraft - you can find this on the home screen. Be sure you have connected with only people who you know in the offline world such as family members or friends you have verified through a child’s parent.
What are 'Realms'? are personal multiplayer servers, run by Minecraft, just for you and your friends. Your Minecraft world is online and always accessible, even when you log off. Only people you invite can join your world, and what you do there is up to you: create, survive or compete! It's important to note that there are monthly subscriptions costs to Realms which are quoted in $USD.
Learne more about Reals here
SERVERS (public - with others)
You can join live online games by hosts (creators of worlds) who have chosen to make these servers public. You can join suggested servers or search for servers that you might learn about. As these a public online spaces, we highly do not recommend this mode of play for any young children.
Is your child ready to play Minecraft Bedrock?
1. Plan – work with your child to discuss the safe modes to play and what clicking ‘Friends’ or ‘Servers’ means (in terms of connecting with others). Explaining ‘why’ playing with unknown friends or serves could mean they encounter strange or tricky people.
2. Prevent – you have set up worlds with them and their friends list only included people you have approved (siblings or friends you have verified). A great way to ensure your child can play multiplayer mode safely with known friends is to collaborate with other parents to ensure they have connected with the correct users.
3. Protect – with multiple game modes available in Minecraft Bedrock edition, it's critical that you regularly monitor and supervise game play, as well as the the settings across Worlds that you and your children have created. Ask questions (often) about how they are playing and who with. Be sure to check in regularly and have them play where you can see and hear them. It’s also highly recommended you play with your child from time to time. This shows them you are interested in learning about their game play and can help you have important safety chats in a comfortable way.
HOW CAN MY CHILD ACCESS MINECRAFT EDUCATION EDITION?
You may wish to talk with the school to find out if your child's school is accessing Minecraft Education Edition. Many Australian schools across Government, Catholic and Independent sectors have purchased and activated bulk accounts for students and teachers. If your child's school has access to Minecraft Education Edition they can enjoy playing solo or collaboratively with siblings or friends on your home Wi-Fi network. You can learn more about Minecraft Education Edition and find the right download for your device here: Homepage | Minecraft: Education Edition.
Please note: at the time of writing this blog post all links and images were current and active. Some services, settings or layouts showcased may have changed.
About Among Us
Since it’s launch in 2018, Among Us (a game by Innersloth) has seen over 90 million downloads globally and played by users of all ages. It’s popularity boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 after many popular YouTubers began live streaming their game play.
Among Us is a multiplayer game of teamwork and betrayal. Players are tasked as Crewmates or the Imposter. A game will include mostly Crewmates who are tasked with activities to complete as they roam around Sky Headquarters. Imposters look like Crewmates but they are tasked with sabotaging Crewmate efforts by killing them off before the game ends.
Once one Crewmate is killed players can vote on who they a ‘suss’ on as the Imposter. The objective is to establish who the imposter is. The chat function with Among us provides a space for Crewmates to chat about who they think the Imposter might be.
Among Us is free to download on Apple iOS and Android devices. You can also view how Among Us collect your usage data here: Among Us (innersloth.com).
What Are The Risks?
Playing with strangers: The most popular mode of play is ONLINE with players joining public/open games where you will be connected with, play and chat with strangers.
Harmful language: The objective of an imposter is to kill, so conversations will lead to this theme. When in game play mode a user can click on the setting cog wheel to turn on the chat censor. This will block commonly known swear words from appearing in the chat. They will be covered with *****.
In app purchases: players may be tempted to purchase skins and accessories for their playing avatar/character.
Advertisements: players will be presented with ads before joining a game, these are unfiltered.
Can I Turn Off Public Game Play?
No, it’s not possible to turn this feature off. This means if you are not supervising your child whilst playing, they may select ONLINE and be able to instantly join public spaces. In public games players communicate with strangers.
Can my child play Among Us without connecting to strangers?
There are three ways that a player could enjoy playing Among Us without playing with strangers. It’s all about how you select to play. Players have a few choices for how they commence play, therefore it’s important your child knows how to set this up safely or you will need to do this for them.
Option 1: Host a PRIVATE game. It is possible to play Among us in ONLINE mode without connecting to strangers. Players can set up safe games by hosting (starting) their own games and launching it as Private. They can then share the game code with their friends. A new code is generated each time a game starts so they will need to be communicating via another platform to share codes. This means you will need to have iMessage or Facebook Kids Messenger to send codes to each other.
Option 2: Play LOCAL mode. Local allows players to connect to game servers that exist on the same WiFi network. For example anyone connected to your home WiFi (such as siblings or friends) can play together from separate devices. One player starts a local game and if the other players are connected to the same home WiFi network the game will appear in the list of available local games.
Option 3: Play solo in FREEPLAY mode. You can also enjoy playing Among us solo by playing Freeplay mode. Players are tasked with 4 challenges as they roam roll through Sky Headquarters.
How to access Among Us:
The game can be downloaded via the Apple App Store, Google Play for Android devices or on PCs via the Among us website. You can also start playing Among Us instantly on a browser on a PC by going to Among Us Play Online.
Learn the lingo
Crewmate - A player in Among Us tasked with collaborating with team mates to succeed at a mission and guess the imposter.
Imposter - the play of a game whose object is to sabotage Crewmate success and may kill Crewmates.
Tasks - A set of activities players complete throughout any given game
Host - A player the sets up a game of Among Us for other players to join.
Maps - three types of maps or worlds you can play in The Skeld, MiraHQ & Polis.
Sus - a term used in chat to highlight who you are suspicious of.
Sky -headquarters - Where you play Among Us.
Freeplay - a function in Among Us that allows you to okay solo with the challenge of completing task an board Sky Headquarters.
The Cyber Safety Project are committed to staying current in this constantly changing digital world. These blog and vlog posts provide insight to families about new trends, potential dangers online and effective strategies to maintain safe and respectful digital behaviours for parents, children, schools and the wider community.