on addiction to minecraft: people have very strong feelings about this

August 4, 2013

Never has this little old corner of the worldwide interweb been so busy. After a post I wrote about my boys LOVING Minecraft, I received more feedback than pretty much ever before, that I can recall. It’s like suddenly the human masses were walking the streets of New York and I was the corner Starbucks. Everyone came in!

Skinny hazelnut latte! Extra foam! Extra hot! No whip! 

There was so much yelling! And everyone wanted my view of Minecraft to be just like theirs, and many didn’t seem to notice that I was joking around

Strangely, after all of the shouting faded away, I learned to appreciate how much my boys love Minecraft. I mean, I have to admit, I still don’t want to play it and I will probably never fully understand it, but I’m certainly more educated and I dig its educational value. The gamers and even the teenagers and the younger kids came over here and explained. I like them. I like the nice ones, anyway. The ones who understood my humor and simply shared what they love about the game. Smart kids, yo.

I’ll also admit that since I still don’t totally understand Minecraft, I still have a hard time totally engaging in conversations about it. And guess what? I’m okay with this, despite many fellow parents taking the time to tell me how wrong it was to NOT be interested in ALL THE THINGS my kids are interested in. Because, there are plenty of things that our kids talk about that I am totally engaged in, and there are plenty of things they talk about that just won’t compute in my particular brain, no matter how hard I try. Minecraft is one of those things. And that’s okay! Really! It is! Thankfully, I feel confident about how well-adjusted and secure my kids are in our love for them. There’s no need to feel guilty about MINECRAFT DISINTEREST.

One woman who wrote to me warned me that if I did not become interested in this, since my kids are so passionate about it, they will not talk to me about the other things they care about in the future….

Friends, a parent can have that disinterest in a video game and STILL support and love their kids, it’s true. Our love and support doesn’t mean we have to get passionate about it all or play right alongside them to prove something every time they love something. They have many interests. Some we connect on and some we don’t. And if I gave my full attention to every single thing they were excited about, nothing else would ever get done ever. And here I am, still their mother, providing for them with the food and the clothing and the doctor appointments and all the reminders. I’m cleaning the house sometimes and keeping track and getting ready for school. I mostly always remember their vitamins! I read to them and I hug them when they’re sad and I’m the first lady and in charge of the whole world in their eyes because I put band-aids on their owies! I’m teaching them a lot about real life by how I live it, and I’m here for them, always, and they know it and so do I.

I’m not even close to perfect, but I’m certainly going to be their safe place as they explore what they were made to do and be and discover all the things they love, even if I didn’t care that much about Minecraft. EVEN. THEN.

Anyway. Even though I wasn’t intending to learn more about Minecraft by writing that post, I’m actually glad I did. Let me share this respectful and helpful comment from Nathan B.

“So, it’s called Minecraft because you have to mine for resources. At it’s most basic level, the point of Minecraft is one of discovery, of colonizing a new world, of the commission given to Adam and Eve, “Fill the earth and subdue it” You start alone. in a strange place, with nothing. It’s a beautiful world, but then, at night, monsters come. You need to survive. To create new and wonderful things in the daylight, and be able to keep the monsters at bay. To eventually see the tables turn where instead of being hunted you become the hunter. Sure, there’s a learning curve, and weird lingo, but at minecraft’s most fundamental level, it’s about creativity and discovery and going out into the unknown.”

See? He spoon-fed it to me in story form and I kind of got it! Miles and Asher are very proud.

The majority of the comments on the original post share my same (joking) sentiment–that I just don’t really care that much about Minecraft. They came from parents who have no idea what’s going on with the whole world’s addiction to this game, including their own children. We admitted, together, that we just don’t have a clue nor the energy to work hard at having one. I guess I’m writing this to get a message across so I’ll say it again–that’s okay! It’s okay that you don’t care about Minecraft! We are spending loads of time and energy every day, especially in the summer months, doing a lot of things with and for our children. So, carry on, creepers! You’re doing just fine!

Writing that first post about Minecraft ended up helping me find out that our kids are learning and growing and creating while playing this game, but you know what? Even if they weren’t, even if it were total and complete nonsense with no point, as I first suspected, I’d still allow our boys to play it for up to TWO HOURS a day in the summer.

I mean, after four hours at the pool and we had so much fun and then errands in which I say “hold-my-hand-we-are-in-a-parking-lot” 39 times, lunch complete with messy faces and hands and floors, a walk that consists of 83 reminders to stay on the sidewalk, and asking them a few times to empty.the.dishwasher.please…..there are still more hours and hours until dinner, bath and bedtime.

So YES, play Minecraft, my boys. Be passionate. Talk nonsense. Tell me all about it while I sweep the kitchen floor again. Tell Daddy about it.

It’s cool, even if we still only understand about a quarter of what you’re saying. 

And school is just around the corner, so don’t say you haven’t been warned. Creepers, bricks, sheep and lava….they’re all about to become very scarce. Sorry! 

Love, Mommy

(Is there lava? Did I just make that up? I think I remember there being lava?)

(You know what? Nevermind. I don’t care.)


Shell August 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I so agree. My boys are addicted and I just don’t care about it. I did try to have them show me what to do, but my eyes started glazing over and I realized that they could be wrapped up in the game while I ACTUALLY GOT WORK DONE. So yay: win-win!

Mytwicebakedpotato August 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

We have a full on obsession to Minecraft going on in our house. It is like crack!
My boy goes to sleep talking about it and wants to wake up talking about it.
He is an excellent reader and has some other interests but nothing compares to the thrill of MC. Personally I know more than I ever wanted or expected to learn about the game. I truly don’t understand the fascination but know that mine isn’t the only one obsessed
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Sherri August 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Ha! It cracked me up how many people took your original post SO seriously…but then, I also have an addicted Minecraft-er. I feel the same as Shell…eyes glaze over when he tried to explain it. But then, HIS eyes seem to glaze over when I start talking blogs and SEO.

tracy@sellabitmum August 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

You know what will be really funny…if your kids take an interest in spreadsheets and then you evidently are also suppose to care about those. Wouldn’t that suck! Seriously. I love you. And everything about you. And this post. xoxo
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Sarah@Lifeintheparsonage August 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Oh this kills me! My kids are hooked. And I too, so don’t get it. I’ve kinda tried, but yeah…I don’t really care. Kudos to Nathan B. and his explanation, because now I sorta get it…but it still sounds sorta dumb ;)

Romelle August 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I shared your post on my page and my friends and followers loved it. I also read some of your articles about PTLS at a time when I am considering how to end a very successful run through my childbearing years. Thanks for all the information on that. I have two adults and 4 kids and I’ve learned that the parents who follow every passion of their kids sometimes have no passions of their own. Our kids are supposed to follow our lead, not lead us through their world. I’m glad you were able to shake off the “haters” and stick to your guns.

suburbancorrespondent August 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm

That’s one of the big reasons for having more than one child – they play their games with each other and let you continue doing whatever it is you do. We’re not SUPPOSED to be heavily involved in everything the children do. They LIKE having something totally their own. Good Lord, do you mean to say that some people believe that I am supposed to have been totally involved in all that Lego-building that has been happening here for more than a decade? No, thanks!

And I, too, don’t get the MInecraft thing. Also? I’ve watched the kids play, and it is not educational. They just like to make things explode. But that’s okay.
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Heather August 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Someone said on Facebook that sometimes she hands her kids a bucket of Legos and says, “Here. Minecraft in 3D. Get off the IPad!”


And yes, “They just like to make things explode.” :)
Heather recently posted..on addiction to minecraft: people have very strong feelings about this

Leslie August 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I have a take on what you wrote that I don’t think anyone else mentioned. I’m sending you an email! :)

Heather August 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Sounds great, Leslie. As long as it’s not like the scary mean ones I got after that first Minecraft post. ;)

Heather recently posted..on addiction to minecraft: people have very strong feelings about this

Elaine A. August 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Yep, there’s lava. And pigs. LOTS OF PIGS. And wolves. And a really cool roller coaster my kid “built”.

It’s all good. ;)
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Wendi August 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

I blame my parents’ disinterest in my Ms. Pacman games in the 80’s for all of my bad life choices.

Susan August 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I play Minecraft with my tutoring students – they love to teach me things and show me the castles and other creations. So much so that I’m working on a website inspired by one of my students to create math activities with it. Let me know if your boys would be interested in giving me advice on how to make it “cool.” ;)
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Rob August 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I don’t have young boys, so I don’t know anything about Minecraft, except that the boys across the street love it! Don’t you love when you write a post that gets a great response, even if no one understood your point of view? It sounds like something that a lot of people must be passionate about. And I look forward to a day when I can write a post that gets half that many responses; a quarter of that number of responses. WOW! That’s great writing Heather.

My oldest boy – the one I am married to – he plays video games, sometimes for hours. Am I going to learn the games, so we can have one more thing in common? Something else to talk about? An activity to share? Do I care how many kills he got or what place he came in racing cars? They are games. Games are for fun. And it sounds like Minecraft is not only fun, but it is educational! Sounds great to me :)

Some people need to lighten up. I can’t believe you read so many responses. As I scrolled through them, I noticed a very long one from a 23-year-old art student, who had a lot to say. I didn’t read it; however, some people really do seem to take Minecraft seriously.
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Skye August 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm

“And everyone wanted my view of Minecraft to be just like theirs”

And if it wasn’t, they were going to whack you with the Internet until you changed it, I’m sure!
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Andrew Healis January 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Minecraft is a basic game where you can build a house and survive through the creatures of the night. You can enforce you’re kids to put it on peaceful mode so no mobs (creatures) attack you. The player can choose to farm foods, mine minerals, agriculture (cows, chickens, pigs), explore, or just freely build. There is also creative mode where you can build houses, statues, and other things without any limits. There are servers the player can go on. Servers are private, public, national, or international broadcasts that many people can partake in. If you child is younger than 12, tell them to pause it and change the settings where it shows messages. Some players are trash-mouthed jerks so I highly recommend you do this.
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