KIDS could get addicted to Minecraft. That is what I have heard. So, I dragged my feet when it came to allowing my daughter to play the game. But eventually, I caved in. This was after weeks that my daughter continuously watched videos on Minecraft, kept singing Minecraft song parodies and constantly begged us to get the game. It was her hard earned prize for improving her reading skill.
At first, I did not understand what the fuss is. I did not like the pixelated squares of everything in Minecraft. And then when you get into the game, there is absolutely no specific objective! I mean, in Plants versus Zombies, you kill all the zombies and Dr. Zomboss. In Clash of Clans, you attack and defend and level up.
In Minecraft, there is no leveling up. Sure there are monsters, but you don’t really have to kill them. And there is even the creative mode where there are no monsters at all.
I was like, “What kind of a game is this? And people get addicted to this?”
But in an effort to understand and guide our five year old in this Minecraft game and hopefully thwart addiction to it, my husband installed the game in each of our iPads. And because we are in the same wifi network, I can create my world or visit the world my daughter created and vice-versa. In effect, as a family, we can share the Minecraft experience.
And that is what we have been doing for several days now. And in the process, it has been an eye opener for me. For starters, I realized that in this game, our roles have been reversed. My daughter is the one guiding us in crafting, telling us the names of the different blocks that you get from mining and warning us of the different powers of the monsters. And she relishes the role! She feels so adult like in being able to discuss the mechanics of the Minecraft world to her parents.
And I was really blown away at how creative she can get in this game. She made waterfalls, cars and multi-level houses for her and her villagers. She created mazes and games for those visiting her world. And with the help of her dad, she made a video of a tour of her world.
And not only that. Through Minecraft, I got a good glimpse of how she understands and processes things. You see, one time she accidentally blew up her massive house and its many villagers and wolves with TNT. She cried and wailed at how sad she was. But later she showed me the grave that she made for those that perished because of her mistake. And she told me she made those graves in order to give her respect to them and so that she will always remember them.
And all these I learned because I played Minecraft with my daughter. My fear that she will be addicted to Minecraft is still there. And I still vigilantly monitor the number of hours that she spends in playing the game.
Some of you might think that it is a game that should not even be played in the first place. Some of you might even think that all types of computer or tablet games should not be played by kids at all.
I would love for my kiddo to play the same outdoor games I played in childhood. But I think that theirs is a slightly different generation in a slightly different world. It would be a futile endeavor to keep her from playing this kind of games. So I will do the next best thing – meet her halfway, play with her, guide her and enjoy the experience along the way.
Cheers to being our kids’ playmate!