Modelling appropriate feeding

Game users show there’s care behind the ‘craft.

Since first arriving in 2011 the Minecraft game has grown into a global phenomenon. As of February 2017 over 121 million copies have been sold. That’s a lot of players!

Many fans of this ‘world builder’ game understand actions in the virtual world can have implications in real life, particularly when it comes to how younger players behave. So when a recent game development introduced feeding birds cookies the reaction was swift.

The Reddit online community became the platform for debate and discussion on the news. It started with a post by Reddit user 1jl, who requested the game owners change the feed:

“I get that you want to give chocolate chip cookies a use in the game, but literally millions of kids will play this game and chocolate and pet parrots are common enough that this will cause a problem.”

feeding cookies to parrots is a no-no

User robheffo offered a solution, “Make it so you need to combine several types of seeds to make ‘birdseed’ to give to the birds.” Megabobster replied, “I really like this idea. It might be a good opportunity to get more varied crops like sunflower seeds and peanuts in the game, too.”

PaladinSquid (love those names!) said, “Children are very impressionable and it is the job of a creator of content that is directed at children to be a good role model. If Elmo told children to feed chocolate to dogs there’d be massive backlash and this is no different.”

At last count the story had over 37,000 ‘upvotes’ and 1551 comments, with plenty of back and forth regarding real life tales, possible solutions and interesting digressions.

It should go without saying that feeding any birds chocolate is a no-no here in New Zealand. Birdseed feed and treats grown here are specially formulated to provide a healthy base (or tasty supplement) to their diets. Let’s keep it real!

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