11/27/2013 03:36 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2014

826 Valencia's Student-Journalist's on the Pros and Cons of Minecraft

The Valencia Bay-farer is 826 Valencia's only in-house newspaper written for students by students (ages eight to 11). Our intrepid reporters learn lessons about the various aspects of journalism, from crafting ledes to interviewing to citing sources and at the end of each five-week workshop, we release a new issue full of articles about the kinds of things you'd love to read if you were a kid. We hope you enjoy these articles. To learn more about 826 Valencia, visit our website.

The Minecraft Effect
By Jasper Bettag, Age nine

A blocky, pixelated video game with no advertising at first, Minecraft has now dominated the video game-playing populace.

Now, Minecraft is not the only video game developed by Mojang (the company that made it) but is one of the best. The company was founded in 2009 by Markus "Notch" Persson. The company currently has only 35 people working for it, but in 2012 they made 1.5 billion SEK (Swedish Krona).

Who buys the game, you ask? People like me, a nine-year-old elementary school student. At my school certain video games have been very popular over the years. For example, in first grade, P.V.Z. (Plants Versus Zombies) was very popular. Minecraft has been popular ever since second grade. (There's this guy at my school named Dominic, and he's a FANATIC. Just about every day on the playground he greets me with something like "Hey, I did this new thing on Minecraft yesterday...")

Many parents worry that video games may be rotting their kids' brains, but many schools think otherwise. Many schools have even used Minecraft to help them teach. I interviewed my good friend Brian Moore and asked him why his parents downloaded Minecraft for him. He answered that it could help with learning architecture, and it was better than playing shooter games or other games that teach you nothing except how much damage you can do to another player with a level ten sword.

Minecraft has three modes of play. These modes are Survival, Creative, and Hardcore. Survival is the most commonly played mode, where the objective is to survive and thrive. There is also Creative, the easiest mode in which you are invincible and immortal, and you have unlimited materials. In Creative mode, there really isn't any specific point at all. Personally, I really just like to build huge, fancy buildings. Also in Creative (and when you have gathered many resources in Survival and are relatively safe from monsters) you have endless building (and exploring) possibilities.

Lastly, there is Hardcore, the hardest mode that is meant for the extreme survivalists (survivalists in the game, not actual survivalists). My parents let me play three to three-and-a-half hours every Saturday and Sunday. I think children should be allowed to play two-and-a-half to four hours a day every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I personally think Minecraft (and any other video game) should not be played on the weekdays, except if it's a holiday or the person playing the video games is sick.

Now, what you've all been waiting for, the pros and cons of Minecraft! In my interview with Brian, I asked him, "What do you personally think of Minecraft?" and he replied that he liked how in some modes you go around slaying zombies and other assorted nasties, and in other modes you just go and do whatever the heck you want. He also said that he did not really like that sand and gravel blocks are the only ones affected by gravity, which is one example of why everything is much easier than it would be in real life. I completely agree with what he said, and think the pros rule out the cons, which is why I will keep playing.