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.)

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