Yours is absolutely the best Minecraft information site for parents. You've answered most of my questions. But here's one I still have:
My son is seven. He wants to play multiplayer, but I don't want him to have unfettered access to public servers. There are so many public servers; I don't know how to find one that I'm sure is age-appropriate. I've considered subscribing to Minecraft Realms and being a host, but my son doesn't know enough people his own age who are willing to be invited. what ideas do you have to solve this problem?
Thanks for your kind words! Yep, finding a safe multiplayer server for younger kids is very tricky. The only way to make sure that it's safe is to try it out yourself and play alongside them, but most parents don't have the time (or enthusiasm) to do that. Realms is a very good alternative, but as you say you need to have players in mind first in order to connect.
My suggestions would be:
- Look for a family-friendly server. There's a good list here, I haven't tried out any of these but have chatted to a few of the admins and they seem nice and helpful.
- Look at servers and communities set up for homeschoolers. These are run by parents and are usually very family-friendly.
- See if there are any Minecraft groups in your school or area where your son could meet some other players to connect with in Realms.
- Go along to some Minecraft day camps or game sessions that often run during the holidays. You'll find other kids to connect with and possibly some recommendations for family-friendly servers.
I hope that helps, good luck!