Adults understand the term sandbox. It brings to mind an actual structure containing sand particles, providing children with a canvas to collaboratively or independently use their imagination. In the technological era, adults must reformat their definition into “gamer lingo.” A “sandbox” format is an adventurous video game, providing an endless supply of computerized blocks to create an original landscape. Without instructions, children learn through exploration and trial and error. It applies the “with practice increases understanding” theory. As an open-ended format of building and unlimited expansion, children and teens can’t or won’t stop playing, while muttering a few buzzwords, such as “baby zombie pigman,” “the creepers,” “time to respawn,” or “Steve!” Wait, what? To understand, you must play too!
Creating a New World
Fans of Legos enjoy a unique format of construction that expands the notion of worldbuilding. Think of it as an endless supply of blocks! Trees and people appear right out of a Lego movie, in their zig-zagged and chunky form. The best way for players to get started is to look for resources. Wood near a tree may serve to create useful tools, such as a pickax, shovel, or hammer. What to build first? Perhaps a house! Time is an immaterial expectation when users are planning, thinking about geometric shapes, unlimited resources, and spatial awareness. The goal is found in the users’ boundless imagination. But, wait, the world is not a utopia! There are plenty of antagonists in every new story, from spiders and hostile mobs to zombies and creatures with glowing eyes, called “Endermen.” Players, whether independently or as multi-players, can advance the difficulty level and check their health status; then, return and continue building! It’s understandable why cries of, “Wait a minute, I need more time! I’m right in the middle of a problem! Deter the real-world agenda please!” erupt frequently. A “zone” or “flow state” is the condition of a fully engaged gamer, which psychologists believe is a highly conducive state to learning.
Gaming in School
In the diversified scope of learning, schools use sandbox adventure games to teach math concepts, like ratios and proportions, or in designing three-dimensional historical structures to expand experiences.
Young children as well as adults learn life skills through the cube-shaped universe, based on the following concepts:
- Creativity: Children who learn in a structured environment finally have the opportunity to use their imagination and explore the geometric world!
- Problem-Solving: Players landing in unknown environments must make quick decisions, like building a shelter, constructing weapons, and collecting food to survive.
- Self-Direction: Without an instruction book, players must decide how to utilize their time in the game by completing goals and creating new plans.
- STEM Knowledge: In playing sandbox-adventure games, children gain familiarilty with computer hardware and functions in video game designing principles and coding.
- Reading and Writing: Research, through books, tutorials, and websites helps players advance in the world of Minecraft. In discovering hints and tricks, users must rely heavily on chat to convey ideas. Hours each day equate to improved skills!
- Engineering Concepts: With experience comes advancement to a power resource termed Redstone. It allows switches to turn on lights, a form of logic gate used in the field of computer programming and electrical wiring.
A Spectator Sport
Rather than reading about techniques and learning how to utilize strategies to enhance the game, kids enjoy plopping themselves in front of a screen to watch someone else’s game. Since parents hope for a kid-friendly personality, try the following kid-friendly and popular YouTubers:
- PopularMMOs is an American YouTuber who uploads Minecraft and Roblox videos and vlogs. Pat has a popular Mindcraft series called “Epic Proportions” and “The Challenge Games.” He is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic!
- DAN TDM is a British gamer, along with Dad, who is beloved for his enthusiastic Minecraft and Roblox commentaries.
- Aphmau is a mom, noted for her Mindcraft and other gaming commentaries, which offer positive messages, and appeal to a wide range of children.
Sometimes, parents must enter their child’s worlds to learn about his or her thoughts, ideas, and future dreams. Begin by asking, “Tell me about your world.” You’ll hear a proud, strong voice walk you through interior levels of rooms and floors of structures, and grow excited to show off a barn with pet horses. As parents learn about the miraculous efforts in worldbuilding, they, too, can delve into the language of the 21st Century! Bring a pad and pencil! You’ll need to take notes!