My son is the same, he's 11 and wanting to create Minecraft Mods has caused him to:
- Learn Java (he had a few brief experiences with Processing but now he's reading the Nutshell books)
- Decompile Minecraft
- Find and follow instructions on how to do all this (Web and YouTube it seems)
- Write his own mods
He's currently at the stage where he's letting his brother have his mods, and we're starting to talk to him about the implications of distribution (support, licensing etc.).
I'm doing very little except providing the right tools at the right time (IntelliJ has been excellent for navigating the code base).
Very impressed with Minecraft and how much he's been motivated to learn. I had tried to teach him some programming before but never really got anywhere, now he's so deep into aspects of Java that I can't really help him... and I've not had to utter a single word of encouragement or assistance.
Minecraft feels like it is the BBC Model B of his generation.