As you may or may not be aware, Mojang has recently released their “Minecraft Realms” service in North America. Minecraft Realms allows players to purchase a subscription for an additional monthly fee, which will allow them to have control over and run their own “server”, to which they can invite other players to play on. You can read more about it here: https://minecraft.net/realms For Parents: We (The Sandlot) have always had, as a part of our rules, a restriction on sharing personal information and account names for other services, including other private or public Minecraft servers. This is done solely for the protection of our players, as we cannot control what is done, said, or asked on any server other than ours. However, with the introduction of Minecraft Realms, we are encountered with a service that we cannot block or restrict. Any player with a Minecraft Realms subscription can “invite” any other player to play on their “server”. This can be done completely without our knowledge – a player can send invitations to everybody on our online players list, and we would never know they were sent. This is important, because your son, daughter, or other relative could be invited to a private server by anybody that has their player name. And we don’t know about it, so we can’t tell you. We are thus forced to make you aware and ask you, as parents, to speak with your kids about joining Realms servers that they may be invited to. We would like to officially encourage you to disallow your children from joining any Minecraft Realms server that does not belong to someone that you or your family knows intimately in real life. Kids don’t understand that the “12 year old girl named Savanna” that they have been playing with for the past week could really be “Rufus the 44 year old creep”. And once they are on Rufus’s server, his messages and actions are no longer being logged and supervised by someone that could turn that information over to you or the authorities as we are able to. So we ask you, please have this conversation with your kids/loved ones. Please urge them to not accept invitations or join Minecraft Realms servers that belong to people they don’t know in real life. EDIT: I have started a discussion on Reddit, requesting that Mojang add a "Parental Controls" option that would limit what servers/Realms your kids can connect to. Please comment on or "upvote" that post if you agree with my request. For Our Younger Players: I am intentionally going to make this sound scary. Because it IS scary. You may get invitations from your “friends” to play on Minecraft Realms servers with them. These may be “friends” that you have played with, built with, teamed with, etc., over the last days, weeks, or months. You have invited them to live with you, kill others in Hunger Games, build fantastical things in Creative, or shared your Skyblock island with them. The important information that is lacking here is that you have never met this person in real life. It is a fact that there are grown adults out on the internet whose sole driving force is to hurt kids your age. These people are smart, and they are very good at tricking you into thinking they are somebody they are not. They know how to talk to you to make them believe they are a boy or girl your age. They may pretend to be multiple different kids, to trick you even further into thinking that they are trustworthy, since you might know Suzy, Roger, and Caroline, and they all know each other, leading you to think that you can trust any of them. They could all be the same person. You would probably never know the difference until it is too late. All a person like this needs from you is some minor information, like what school you go to, what street you live on, what mall you like to shop at, etc., and all of a sudden they know where to find you. There are lots of tricks that the staff of The Sandlot know to look out for. If something bad ever did happen, we have logs of who you talked to and where they connected from. We can give these to the police, and this information can help to find you. These creeps know that they are being watched while on our server, which hopefully deters them from even being here in the first place. But if they invite you to a Minecraft Realms server, we have no way of knowing who it was and nothing to provide to your parents or the police in the event that something bad happens. I do not mean to imply that every person on our server is definitely a creep of some kind and you shouldn’t talk to anybody. That is certainly not true. But we also cannot guarantee that everybody here is who they say they are. And more than anything, we want you to be safe. For this reason, we very strongly urge you not to connect or accept invitations to a Minecraft Realms server from people that you do not know in real life. Similarly, if you have your own Minecraft Realms subscription, please share it with your real-life friends, and don’t try to invite people you only know from online – you also don’t know who they are. It isn’t safe. Don’t do it! I am going to reiterate that one more time, because it is very important: Do not connect to, send, or accept invitations to a Minecraft Realms server to or from anybody that you do not know in real life. It is not safe. Please help us to discourage others from doing so. If you see or hear people talking about their Realms server, urge them to use it to play with their real-life friends from school, church, camp, etc. Be nice, but encourage them not to invite other kids from The Sandlot, and share with them that it isn’t safe. We aren’t going to make it against the rules to do so, simply because we have no way to enforce it. It is up to you to protect yourself, and we hope we can rely on everyone to help keep The Sandlot a safe place for all of our players. Thanks for your time in reading this!