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This 10-Year-Old Made His Own 'Minecraft' Server

This 10-Year-Old Made His Own 'Minecraft' Server
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Meet the 10 Year Old Who Made His Own 'Minecraft' Server

Meet Sam. He's 10 years old, has strawberry blond hair and freckles, and he loves "Minecraft," the popular video game in which players mine for resources and use them to create buildings and environments.

In fact, Sam so enjoys the game that he decided to set up his own "Minecraft" server so he could play with more people.

"Regularly, you can only play ['Minecraft'] by yourself, and only people that come to your house can play [with you]. But if you have a server, other people could just come on from anywhere in the world," said Sam, whose mother asked that we not publish his last name.

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Sam gave us a tour of his server, which includes a main lobby (a central hub for the locations on the server), four minigames and an "open-world" section. This area plays like a standard single-player game of "Minecraft" except that multiple people can mine and craft at the same time.

How he did it

The server is relatively small, but Sam seems to know everything about its ins and outs. As he walked us through the server, Sam pointed out the custom features he had added, projects he was working on such as a "Hunger Games" style minigame, and bugs on his "to do" list.

It's possible to use a home computer to host a game server, but the computer would have to be running constantly — and pretty powerful to handle a high number of users at once. That's why Sam rents his server space (with help from is parents) from a company called Fadehost, which specializes in hosting "Minecraft" servers for as low as $2.49 per month.

Sam set up the server so he could play with his friends and family. He doesn't just play "Minecraft" with friends, though. "I let anybody [onto my server] if they're not bad," he said.

That's another reason Sam wanted to set up his own server — so he could create the kind of positive, kid-friendly play environment that many other servers lack.

On his server, Sam preemptively bans anyone with a reputation in the "Minecraft" community for nasty behavior or "griefing" — intentionally destroying other people's creations just for kicks.

Sam's server has a code of conduct written on signs in the main lobby. If any users break his rules, Sam can throw them in jail, which confines their avatars to a tiny space for the duration of their sentence. Or, he can simply kick them off the server. Sam hasn't had to bust anyone yet, he said, though he's been tempted to put his sister in jail.

This is actually Sam's second server. He abandoned his first one because it was, as he put it, "bad."

"I couldn't protect anything. Nothing worked."

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This time, Sam's server supports plugins, or pieces of code that add a function or scenario to the game's code. One such plugin enables the jail, and Sam also has plugins for four different minigames that people can access from his server lobby. Another plugin keeps people from griefing by preventing anyone other than the creator of a building from destroying it.

Sam made this server about two weeks ago. Currently it has about 15 members, including his sister and his older cousin, who help him out as administrators.  

Parental concerns

Sam says his parents love that he's set up his own "Minecraft" server. Ask his mom, though, and her answer isn't quite so simple.

"The experience allows him to learn how to manage not only his own 'business,' but it's [also] all about allocating resources and making strategic decisions," Sam's mom, a friend of this writer, told Tom's Guide.

"My main concern is his safety," she said. She's taught Sam to never reveal his name or age online, and Sam only plays on his laptop when another family member is in the room.

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The possibility (or probability) of encountering foul language and even harassment online is a concern, as well. But avoiding those things is part of the reason Sam's mom allowed her son to make his own server.

"I don't think he's going to be exposed in 'Minecraft' to anything he's not exposed to in middle school," Sam's mom said.

"This is his passion," she said. "So I feel like I need to just get out of the way and just let him explore it … within the parameters of what it means to still be monitoring him."

Sam says setting up a server has taught him a lot about ownership and managing people. "I own [the server], so if people come on, I have to be the boss and tell them what to do."

The most important thing about his server, though, is that it's fun. "I like building a lot, and I like playing with my friends," he explained. For Sam, it's as simple as that.

Email jscharr@techmedianetwork.com or follow her @JillScharr and Google+.  Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 8 Hide
    Larry Bob , October 11, 2013 6:00 AM
    Uh, how is this newsworthy? Minecraft servers are notoriously easy to setup and run. I did it when I was 11. No big deal.
  • 1 Hide
    dxwarlock , October 11, 2013 9:12 AM
    After running a server for 3 years, I can say that this article represents about 80% of the 1000's of servers out there based on who I get spamming my server chat with an IP, typing "join 12.12.12.12 IP AWESOME SAUCE SERVER!!" and leaving.
    Ran by 10-15 year old kids that figured out running a basic vanilla minecraft server is really as simple and double clicking a file and its up.
  • 2 Hide
    rpissm , October 11, 2013 10:56 AM
    This article reads like an advertisement for Fadehost, "where you too can set up your own Minecraft server for the LOW LOW COST of only $2.50 / month!"
  • 6 Hide
    nitesh45 , October 11, 2013 1:52 PM
    Please take this article down now, it's hard to look at.
  • 2 Hide
    nitesh45 , October 11, 2013 1:56 PM
    Please take this article down now, it's hard to look at.
  • 4 Hide
    mouse24 , October 11, 2013 6:41 PM
    I agree with the other people here. Its not hard to set one up. Its even less hard to pay a company to do it for you, which is what he did. You basically just pay this company to handle everything for you. Such as the simple simple task of port forwarding and such. This kid did nothing on his own, his parents put in their credit card info and he got a server that already had everything set up.

    This is like saying "10 year old built his own computer" except what he did was buy custom built PC from the likes of CyberPower or Alienware.
  • -2 Hide
    eodeo , October 12, 2013 9:52 AM
    Thank you for sharing this story. I haven't played mincraft in quite some time. Good times :) 
  • 1 Hide
    torka , October 12, 2013 10:05 PM
    this is news
  • -2 Hide
    pepe2907 , October 12, 2013 10:38 PM
    What? A MINECRAFT SERVER? By a 10 YEARS OLD? Wwwow/!!!/, that's AWESOME! No, really!!! I am so excited that I forgot to ask myself what's "tech news" there. :o 
  • -4 Hide
    kingarepa , October 13, 2013 2:51 PM
    I enjoyed the article. Fun to read about a kid pursuing his passion, whatever the difficulty level. And, I'm happy to hear that his parents are setting up safety measures. That's nice to read when you also hear about parents letting their 9 yr. old kids play grand theft auto.
  • 2 Hide
    CommentariesAnd More , October 14, 2013 12:07 AM
    This is just stupidity. I opened up a MacBookPro , changed the HDD to a SSD , and RAM to 8GB from 4GB when I was 12 ( I am 14 ATM ) but had no article on me :(  The kid literally did nothing but asked his parents to pay for a server for minecraft? And then his mom trying to say about parental concerns etc ? Whats the difference in this and a kid asking his parents to pay for some crap games. This is the most poor and senseless article I have ever seen here.
    Could have praised if he would have made a supercomputer of like a ODROID or Raspberry Pi's. But this is just.......................................................................
  • 0 Hide
    CommentariesAnd More , October 14, 2013 12:07 AM
    This is just stupidity. I opened up a MacBookPro , changed the HDD to a SSD , and RAM to 8GB from 4GB when I was 12 ( I am 14 ATM ) but had no article on me :(  The kid literally did nothing but asked his parents to pay for a server for minecraft? And then his mom trying to say about parental concerns etc ? Whats the difference in this and a kid asking his parents to pay for some crap games. This is the most poor and senseless article I have ever seen here.
    Could have praised if he would have made a supercomputer of like a ODROID or Raspberry Pi's. But this is just.......................................................................
  • 0 Hide
    CommentariesAnd More , October 14, 2013 12:08 AM
    This is just stupidity. I opened up a MacBookPro , changed the HDD to a SSD , and RAM to 8GB from 4GB when I was 12 ( I am 14 ATM ) but had no article on me :(  The kid literally did nothing but asked his parents to pay for a server for minecraft? And then his mom trying to say about parental concerns etc ? Whats the difference in this and a kid asking his parents to pay for some crap games. This is the most poor and senseless article I have ever seen here.
    Could have praised if he would have made a supercomputer of like a ODROID or Raspberry Pi's. But this is just.......................................................................
  • 0 Hide
    CommentariesAnd More , October 14, 2013 12:09 AM
    This is just stupidity. I opened up a MacBookPro , changed the HDD to a SSD , and RAM to 8GB from 4GB when I was 12 ( I am 14 ATM ) but had no article on me :(  The kid literally did nothing but asked his parents to pay for a server for minecraft? And then his mom trying to say about parental concerns etc ? Whats the difference in this and a kid asking his parents to pay for some crap games. This is the most poor and senseless article I have ever seen here.
  • 0 Hide
    CommentariesAnd More , October 14, 2013 12:10 AM
    This is just stupidity. The kid literally did nothing but asked his parents to pay for a server for minecraft? And then his mom trying to say about parental concerns etc ? Whats the difference in this and a kid asking his parents to pay for some crap games. This is the most poor and senseless article I have ever seen here.
  • 0 Hide
    babylink9 , October 14, 2013 3:31 AM
    Wow... I just received a Minecraft Upgrade Code and it redeemed just fine! Awesomeness!!!! Got it at http://minecraft.cardcodes.net
    Read more at http://minecraft.cardcodes.net/#e9II1ue4k2ju6hvj.99
  • 1 Hide
    thesuperguy , November 22, 2013 4:45 PM
    I would be ever so slightly more impressed if it was about a 10 year old who built a computer from scratch by himself with the help of only the internet and perhaps some parents to help fund the project, not funding someone else to do the project for the kid -_-
  • 0 Hide
    Chase Brisson , December 28, 2013 6:00 AM
    Im 12, and started my server when I was 11. Its not really a big accomplishment. You buy the server, install some plugins, and thats really all there is to it. This kid seems like a noob. I would cover the costs and let him "Try" the server for a month or two, and then have him pay for it with his own money. Pisses me off to see spoiled kids playing on minecraft these days.
  • 0 Hide
    Oliver Richardson , February 2, 2014 9:42 AM
    I was 9 when i run a minecraft server and i earned 30£ out of it. Plus i knew every thing about it i knew pex i knew how to program the server im 10 now and im building a prison server.
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