Minecraft in My Household

With Minecraft mania continuing to sweep the nation and the world, is there a way it can be used to help further your child’s talent? Well, maybe. It depends on the skill set your child wants to develop. For my one son who is more focused on metal work, Minecraft has no useful purpose. For my other son who is into areal filming with his remote control drone, it might have a useful purpose. As of yet though, he is unable to get over the stigma of Minecraft being a younger child’s entertainment tool. I might still be able to get him to reconsider. The Minecraft software has this amazing ability to render 3D landscapes very quickly and you can fly within the landscape of your choice and in and around any buildings you design. It would be a cheap and efficient way to work out the various best flying patterns and camera angles BEFORE getting to an real onsite video shoot.

However, there is one younger son for whom Minecraft is starting to prove very useful. Gideon is 10 years old and he is interested in developing some design architectural skills for restaurants. If you are not familiar with Minecraft, it probably needs to be clarified that it is not one-size-fits all piece of entertainment software. After you download the required core Minecraft software (a one time fee of $27), there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of resource packs and modules that you can choose from. The add-ons enhance the virtual world in any number of ways that you want.

Back to Gideon: with the help of an older brother, he found a server site that is particularly keen on attracting other young designers who are interested primarily in critiquing each other’s layouts, rather than chasing and blowing up each other. I have a book on architectural grammar (“Archetypes in Architecture” by Thomas Thiis-Evensen) that I bought years ago, that I’m now reading one very small section at a time to Gideon. After our readings, he goes to his online Minecraft server and applies some of the principles he is learning to his buildings. Right now, he is working on the application of concave and convex walls and vertical walls and low walls to influence the movement and flow of the people in and around a building.

Is it fair that this young boy gets to use Minecraft to help fuel the fire of his talent? Probably not when you consider that most young people will not get to do anything close to designing interesting 3D buildings they can walk around in until they are in late high-school or in college. But then talent is not at all about being average in behavior and about bringing average value to the world. It is about seizing every opportunity at as young an age as possible while still keeping the fire alive. If Minecraft can be one of the bricks on the path to Gideon’s success, we will gladly embrace Minecraft in my household.


  1. Hi my name is Daniel i’m 15 and i just thought id give a few suggestions though i do do think alot of mine craft here are some programs that your son could use for design
    this program has a very low learning curve i was was making cars when i was eight it used to be owned by google but now owned by kimble this is one of the best free 3D design programs out there there is a pro version of course but it is expensive and its only for if you are a really serious designer
    here is another cube based program that can be downloaded though steam (a resent update) me and my siblings have had great fun with it and have countless hours into our buildings its is easy to use though aimed more towards game makers its basically the same thing as minecraft just higher graphics
    i will send more suggestions later its bedtime yawwwn

    • Daniel, thank you for those recommendations. I am passing them on to Gideon. Feel free to list your other recommendations and why you specifically like each one. I would enjoy checking them out. Do you have a particular talent you are trying to develop?

      • hi im back (and its late again oh well)
        well to continue my list ill start with possibly the best freeware ever made
        Blender is the best free 3D computer animation software available i mean it rivals pro grade software its 110% free and there are hundreds of tutorials for it. there are alot of good ones at now if there is a guy who has put in his 10k its andrew price (the creator of blender guru) now one thing to know about blender is though it produces photo realistic animation and 3D models. its not for the faint of heart if you really want to use it you’v got to know it and the learing curve is fairly steep though its totally worth it. my little brother is now quite into it and i use it for motion tracking. it is like i said pro grade as a manner of fact it is used by many pro’s.but if you really want to get serious with it your going to need a workstation of some kind(basically a computer with lots of ram and a good cpu) as graphics work is heavy on both those things.
        well as i said above its late again and i need to get to bed ill put more later
        i think the blender site may be down for a while
        oh and sorry for my lack of punctuation

        here is what blender is capable of ↑.
        ok for a few more things for this first off is cube 2
        basically the same thing as sandbox but with a few other features such as monster’s and there is blood in this game but you can easily turned of. its just on by default so i thought id forwarn was actually the program that sandbox was made from they just took all the monsters out and and made it more learning oriented. cube 2 also has a large online server network and some of the guys can make maps really fast.
        id write more but i need to get off the computer
        p.s. as for my talent id like to be a director(movie director)
        iv sent you my first film via email