Gaming,  Parenting

The Perils of Minecraft

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Dig, farm, make, build, create.

Minecraft is hard to describe in only a few words. It takes place in a randomly generated, blocky, heavily pixilated world where just about everything is made out of cubes.

Okay, that’s oversimplified, but it starts to find the flavour of the game.

It’s a mostly creative endeavor, and can be either cooperative or competitive (with a heavy emphasis on the first one, which is why I like it). It’s also rather addictive if you have the right mindset for the game.

Harvest resources (mining, digging, farming, chopping, fishing, etc, etc, etc) and use them to create your own home, castle, shop, world, whatever. It’s a fun, varied, and entertaining time sink.

And it’s somehow become a huge part of my youngest daughter’s life. She spends hours a day playing Minecraft on various servers and various game types, creative. She has friends she only sees on Minecraft. They meet up, play together, and go their separate ways to meet up again later. When not playing, she’s watching videos of other people playing. Screenshots of her play make it to Facebook. She’s thrilled to run into Minecraft, Gamer, and Youtube “celebrities” and makes sure she gets screenshots of their Minecraft characters (called skins).

So the only thing you can do in this situation as a parent is dive in.

I don’t have my own Minecraft account (although I’m considering it), but all three of my kids do. To play with my youngest, I borrow one of the others when not in use. We dig, we build, we farm. She tries to get me to play Hunger Games. I remind her that I don’t really like to kill other people. Even in Minecraft. But, we dig, build, and farm. Mostly dig and build. Actually, we dig so we can build, mainly, though it’s fun to just explore sometimes, too. Or go on expeditions to far off biomes and see what there is to see or harvest or what other people have built.

Playing with your kid, it’s best to have both computers in the same room if you can manage it. Then it becomes kind of like a social experience because you can talk to each other outside of the in-game chat. Of course, webcams can manage this for you, but where’s the fun in that?

Be careful, though. It’s addictive. You can sit down to play for an hour, look up and it’s past time to make dinner. Oh, and don’t take on an Enderman unless you really mean it.

Time to go dig!

Be well, everyone.

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  • superaddmom

    get your own account!!!! I said I didnt need one either and didnt want to spend the money and I’d not use it enough….and now I love minecraft.

    my son is 8 amd he sounds like your daughter. if hes not playing on our favourite server (nerdcrafteria) hes in his own creative superflat world making a rollercoaster. or watching minecraft redstone tutorials. hes learned to read through gamechat and that is pretty impressive considering he is dyslexic and just months before he could hardly read at all because a, b, d, g, h, q, and p all looked the same to him.

    I fully endorse minecraft as a great way to spend time with the kids. 🙂 I blogged about it recently as well.

    get your own account and we’ll build a village together. the four of us all get in game together and go cave exploring together.its a great way to teach planning, organization, team player skills and exercise the creative imagination muscle in the brain 🙂

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