Unsurprisingly, most people seem to consider Minecraft a kid’s game, played only by children. There’s certainly no question that it’s more popular with younger people than older people. But is it really ‘just a kids game’, and should older people have any shame in playing it?
Unfortunately for us, Mojang doesn’t seem to collect any demographic data, at least not publicly. We know extremely little about the people who play the game. However, every so often we may be lucky enough for Mojang or Microsoft to share some handy snippets of information.
Last year, Microsoft shared that the average age of a Minecraft player is around 28-29. Late 20s.
We now know that most players aren’t children, nor are they mostly teenagers. But it begs the question- why do both Minecraft players and non-players think that?
There are many suggestions. One reason might be Minecraft’s marketing and merchandise. It’s pretty much all aimed towards kids. Every toy store seems to have a wide range of Minecraft toys, obviously intended for children. Mainstream Minecraft content is usually directed at kids. This would definitely colour the public’s perception of the game.
Another reason may just be how vocal kids are about games they’re passionate in. Children love talking about the game with their friends, their classmates, and often to their tired parents. More “let’s plays” on YouTube are directed at kids, largely because kids are more in to watching videos than older players are. Kids are so much more likely to get obsessed with it. Everyone simply hears more kids discussing Minecraft than they do adults, then assuming it’s a kid’s game.
It’s also likely that most adult players spend more time in singleplayer than younger players do. It seems if adults do play in multiplayer, they tend to play on private servers with small groups of friends. You’re less likely to find older people on big popular servers, so it seems like there’s less of them playing. A small survey on the Hypixel forums found that 87.5% of respondents were under 17.
Anyone familiar with the game should already know it’s not just a children’s game. All popular mods, resource packs, servers, and maps are made by older players. Command blocks probably wouldn’t exist if the game was only for kids. All of the most amazing and complicated creations are built by adults.
Back in the early days of Minecraft, most players seemed to be adults. It was a new game then, with little mainstream appeal. Mojang employee Marc Watson thinks it’s really only been in the last few years that Minecraft’s been thought of as a kids game. The only thing that changed was Minecraft becoming more mainstream.
Even if the world still thinks it’s a game for kids, there’s no reason to listen to them if you’re an older player. If you enjoy something, just go with it. Other people’s preconceptions shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Don’t shy away from it. Maybe if we unabashedly are open about our Minecraft pleasures, more people will associate the game with not just kids.
Minecraft’s never been just a kid’s game. It’s a testament to Minecraft’s flexibility and ingenuity that everyone can find something that they like.