Why Is Minecraft So Appealing to Children With ADHD?

My work as a child clinical psychologist has sparked my interest about how children interact with video games, apps, and other technologies. Over the past 20 years, I have conducted thousands of interviews with kids and their families, I have learned about the power and perils of digital media. I have heard from families about their use of computer, console, handheld, online, smartphone, and tablet-based video games.

But one game has stood out as the most popular and compelling game for children with ADHD: Minecraft.

Why does Minecraft appeal so much to children with ADHD?

In order to answer this question, I began to conduct brief interviews with children diagnosed with ADHD who cited Minecraft as their favorite game. I initially started by asking them questions such as, “Why do you like to play Minecraft?”, “What makes it hard to stop playing Minecraft?”, and “How did you learn to play Minecraft?”. Since then, I’ve expanded my questions based upon what I have learned from Minecraft players. For example, I now ask questions about watching Minecraft videos and what these children think of other games that are similar to Minecraft.

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