Minecraft, the online world that most parents simply don’t understand, is now officially the most watched game of all time on YouTube.
According to the video-sharing site, the game that allows children to build worlds made out of blocks – a bit like Lego – has also become the most searched-for term, behind “music”.
It bears out earlier research from YouTube video research firms Newzoo and Octoloy, which found that Minecraft material notched up more than 3.9 billion views on YouTube in March 2015 alone.
None of this will come as a surprise to the many parents who have become ‘Minecraft-widows’, desperately trying to entice their children to go on a bike ride, throw a ball, visit the park – anything other than while away the hours watching other people build things with little green bricks on the internet.
The fact that parents are worried about the varying levels of enthusiasm/obsession/addiction that their children display when playing Minecraft has been well-documented.
In numerous posts and articles online, they complain that the game is taking over their children’s lives, that they become irritated when they aren’t playing it, they neglect homework, chores, even going to the toilet, to keep on playing.
It has led some parents to ban or severely curtail Minecraft time. One father, explaining his decision to limit his twin boys’ access to the game, said simply: “Minecraft, as with all successfully addictive games, is endless. My kids’ childhood isn’t, and I want them to spend it learning about the real world, not a virtual one.”
But for other parents, children playing the game is OK – at least they are doing something vaguely creative – but spending hours mindlessly watching others playing it represents a whole new level of obsession.
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