It's often hard to explain what Minecraft is to someone who has not played it. Imagine a virtual lego set with an infinite number of blocks. Now imagine those blocks can do different things, like melt and flow like water, sprout into trees, burn like fire, or ooze like lava. And imagine dozens of other blocks that can be found and crafted into tools and goods that can be used in a myriad of different ways. The possibilities are endless and players are bound only by their imaginations. Minecraft is a phenomenon, not because it's the flashiest game in town, but because it allows players to dream and build.
Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.
Requirements for Playing Online
Chances are, if you're reading this page, your child is already playing Minecraft, though they may not have ventured online with it yet. Playing online requires three things: an internet connection, a $27 Minecraft account, and a Mac or PC running Minecraft. Minecraft accounts are purchased online and are a one-time expense. There are no in-game purchases in Minecraft to worry about.
How it works
In order for your child to play on the FCMC server, you need to be a resident in a participating town: Brookfield, Darien, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Weston, Westport, Wilton. We understand that it may be frustrating if your town is not yet represented, but we really do make it very easy for libraries to become members of this cooperative project and we encourage you to speak with your library about joining if they have not already. Feel free to point them to this website for more information.
If you are a resident of a participating town, simply bring your child to the library and ask to join. Your child must have a Minecraft account and a valid library card, but since you'll already be at the library, getting a library card should be no problem. We do not prevent any child from joining if they (or you) have late fees. The librarian will add your child to the server's whitelist and a shared spreadsheet (that only librarians see) containing player names, library card numbers, and birth dates. This is so that we can keep track of who players are in real life. At this point, your child is free to connect to the server! Instructions on how to do that can be found on the Players page. When a player turns 18, they are taken off the whitelist.
September 29, 2015
Great news, FCMCers! We've added some awesome new features to the server! I give you Skyblocks, greenhouses, and money!... (read more)
Libraries and Your Child
As librarians, we take the online safety of your children very seriously. We recognize that it's virtually impossible to keep up with what kids are doing when they pick up a tablet or phone, or when they sit down in front of a computer. We're information professionals--we can help you make sense of this convoluted, ever-changing world. We also see a lot of kids every day in a setting that is not home and not school. The library is often the place where kids go after school to hang out and unwind. Usually, they are fooling around on a computer while chatting with their friends. We'll often see groups of teens huddled around one screen, working together to build something, or just poking around online. It's our job to know the landscapes they are engaged in and help provide positive guidance as they navigate their way through it.
Minecraft at Libraries?
The Fairfield County Minecraft story began a few years ago at Darien Library. We had heard distant rumblings about a game called Minecraft and slowly, kids began drifting in, asking if it was installed on our computers. It was not, so naturally we installed it for them after determining that it was an appropriate game. Pretty soon, we realized that kids were logging on to remote servers to build collaboratively with others around the world and we asked, "Would you like the library to run a Minecraft server?" They practically fell out of their seats with a resounding, "YES!" The Minecraft phenomenon had hit, so down the rabbit hole we went.
Fairfield County Minecraft Server
That first server is no longer around, but we learned a lot from it. We learned that a public Minecraft server can not always be a safe place. We learned many technical lessons on how to keep a Minecraft server running smoothly. We learned how to control and manage bad behavior. But ultimately, we took it down because it was open to the public and it fell victim to what one might call "the tragedy of the commons". Meanwhile, we were approached by other libraries in the area asking how we went about running a Minecraft server and the idea was born for a cooperative approach to running a whitelist server. Whitelisting means that we selectively allow access to the server. The result is that we no longer have random players from all over the world joining (and possibly defacing) the server and we know exactly who each player is, who their caregivers are, and how to get in contact with them. By adding this important level of accountability, we've been able to create a multiverse of Minecraft worlds that are fun, friendly, and safe.