NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 12-year-old in New Jersey was reportedly victimized by someone he met playing “Minecraft,” an online gaming world visited by millions of young players.
With more than 120 million copies sold or downloaded, it’s on its way to becoming the best selling video game of all time. Players are able to build and explore, and there’s even a lot for parents to like.
“There’s geometry, there’s spatial sense, there’s all kinds of angles and of course the creativity of the building,” mother Amanda Carrol said. “It’s just that a concern of — if they’re reaching out to somebody that’s unknown.”
Police in suburban Dallas say a man joined “Minecraft” and made friends with a 12-year-old from Freehold, NJ using the game’s online chat function. He eventually convinced the boy to contact him using Skype, where he allegedly sent him explicit pictures and videos.
41-year-old Keith Fenstermacher — a father and Boy Scout leader — is now charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child.
With millions of children obsessively playing “Minecraft” and similar games, security experts say there’s a few tips parents need to keep in mind. Primarily, single player is the safest mode since players can’t use the chat function — even though it’s more fun to play with others.
Additionally, make sure to warn your children never to share personal information with players they don’t know. And finally, it’s important to ignore requests from unknown players to communicate on platforms such as Facebook or Skype.
Police continue to investigate Fenstermacher and are searching his electronics for signs of additional alleged victims.