I used to hear that Minecraft was just harmless fun, too, and also put in the proviso that the children played only on the home computer and not on-line with others (besides security issues, they become unhappy that things are going on in the Minecraft world while they're not logged in, and it makes them very distracted and agitated).
But is it harmless?
My 10-year-old has been setting his alarm for 2 am and sneaking down in the night to watch videos about Minecraft, and to play the game. Despite its friendly appearance of just something to create a world, it is terribly, terribly addicting, especially to a boy's brain and its biological design.
You see, computer games stimulate a part of their brains that induce pleasure. This is a different area than girls' brains are stimulated with they play computer games.
For us at the moment, we haven't removed Minecraft entirely. Because the son is vehemently denying that he has been the person on the computer at 2 am, and we have no definitive proof as to who it was, we have simply put in a place a lot security barriers like having Minecraft on only my user name (with a unique password that only I know), and putting time limits on my son's use of the computer via the security settings of Windows 7.
If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't buy this game. It really is taking up my children's head space when rather I'd like them to be creative in the real world.
well... lets replace game/minecraft with books adn that was me at 10. sneaking under the covers, hiding the book under my mattress and having a flashlight at night with scarfs along the crack of the door so my parents couldnt see the light.
yeah i was totally addicted to books. at 8 during summer holidays my dd has spent the whole night reading.
nowadays she is not allowed to read a favourite book or new book at bedtime. it wakes her up.