Minecraft: It’s Where the Boys Are

This is a basic explanation of Minecraft and how to get your Minecraft Club started.  I am still learning and by no means an expert.

What The Hell is Minecraft?

Minecraft is an alternate world where you mine and try to survive the creepers.  There is so much more you can do in Minecraft but that is the basics.

Important Vocab.

Single Player: One person can play in a selected world

Multi Player: Two or more people can play in a selected world.  They can interact with each other.

Creative Mode: You can mine and build without the threat of creepers.

Survival Mode: Creepers, zombies, and other creatures can kill you. You can also starve or experience exhaustion.

Creeper: Monsters that can kill you

PVP: (Player vs. Player) Combat against other players.

How Does One Obtain Minecraft?  

Pocket Edition: If you have iPads, you can buy the pocket edition that costs about $2.99 – $6.99 depending on the device (iOS or Android).  You only have to purchase it one time and upload it from the cloud to your other iPads.  In the pocket edition, you can play single player and multiplayer.  For multi player, everyone must be on the same wi fi.  How to set up multi player on an iPad.

Gaming Consoles: You can play Minecraft on xBox and PS.  You may do single & multi player as well as PVP.

PC & Mac: Teens must have their own account to play.  Accounts cost $26.99.  How to get an account. You can do everything on the full version.

Servers

You can purchase a server or obtain one from Minecraft.  Once you get a server, you will receive an IP address. To play multiplayer, teens will enter your IP address. Cheaper servers will only allow a limited number of players at a time, so if you have a large Minecraft club, you might have to get several servers or spend more money.

If you are playing from a public library, your library servers might have firewalls that prevent you from doing multiplayer. Library servers are sophisticated and allow you to open ports for specific gaming, including Minecraft.  It should be a simple process just contact your IT dept.

Your Minecraft club will get bored with single player and multiplayer might keep them engaged and coming back.

The Minecraft Club

We all know that demographics vary so we didn’t want to jump into a monthly club when we weren’t sure there was an interest.  We see teens playing Minecraft all the time in the library but that doesn’t mean they will join a club. So we decided to have a one-time Minecraft program to see if there was any interest.  There was.  We had about 36 boys and girls so we decided to make it into a monthly club.

If you are a beginner to Minecraft, you should ask one of your teen patrons who knows a lot about Minecraft to help you.  This teen should arrive early to help you set up your devices and they should run the club (announce and officiate challenges, award prizes, etc.).

We begin our monthly meet-up by having the teens nominate challenges. Examples of challenges are best house, best structure, best creeper trap, the first to find diamonds, etc.  After nominations, teens vote for the top three.  First, second, and third place will receive points for each challenge. The winner at the end of the meet-up receives the trophy.  Our trophy is a sword made from Perler Beads.  Winner gets to keep the trophy for one month.

What Else Can My Teen Helper Do?

The helper can create worlds for your club to play.  They can help you set up a multi-player server, they can come up with interesting challenges, they can troubleshoot, and they can help judge the challenges.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Open the doors to your club meeting a little early.  It can take time for the teens to log into their account and get the game started.  This can sometimes take up to a half an hour.
  2. Once the teens have played the game, put the Minecraft icon on the desktop.  This cuts down on downloading time.
  3. If the game won’t load, it might be because of the version they are playing on.  This is when the teen helper comes in handy-the troubleshooting.

Providing a Minecraft club can be a great way to reach those teens who only come in to use the computers or don’t come to library at all and it’s an extremely cheap program.

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