Minecraft… The unexplainable addiction of our children. The time sucking, what are they talking about, why do they want money to “donate” to a free game, are you SURE you got your homework done, bane of our existence. Minecraft is something that pretty much every parent of every teen/almost teen that I know, has to deal with and it’s confusing. My daughter was HUGE on Minecraft. All she wanted for Christmas last year was to Donate to her favorite server. I was determined not to do it. It’s a waste of money and I have that Single Mom Syndrome thing going, so I never have money. She ended up with a decent amount of cash for Christmas, so I broke down and let her donate. All I heard about for ages was how she could fly, and how many houses she has – apparently it was a big deal. Due to poor grades, she lost all social networking for a couple months and as soon as the lockdown was lifted she was back at it full force. I just couldn’t understand what the draw was, so I tried to play it once, and was immediately killed by a creepy thingy so I was done. What is the fun in chipping away at the earth to try to get ores while creepy monsters attack you? Well, let me tell you….
A couple months ago, I broke down and decided to try it again, but as a different person WHILE she was playing as well and not just talking me through it. She took me to her favorite server (mc.johnnywoof.net) and introduced me to her friends. They were all very nice, and the chat was perfectly family friendly which I appreciated. She built me a little house, gave me diamond armor and taught me to mine. Yes, I died a few times and it really is annoying, but you get over it. She would take me mining and she and/or one of her friends would stand guard over me to protect me so I could mine and it really was fun! She even taught me about Pixel Art and made a statue of me! (I am the little one with the Banner as a hat flying next to myself) And I even made some art (I made the woodstock 🙂 )
I admit, we have cruised several servers, but Johnnywoof honestly has the greatest people. Originally we presented me as her sister, but over time as I started getting to know the players and Admins, we eventually told them I am her Mother. (Well, my kid tattled on me one night to prove they wouldn’t care), and surprisingly, no one freaked out. They still talk to me, play games with me, hang out at one of our houses or invite me to theirs. I can honestly say that I have made several friends in Minecraft, These kids are incredibly artistic, I have seen wonderful pixel art, stunning mansions and several castles with an attention to detail that outright amazes me. Granted, I am a kid at heart, but I really like building houses, exploring and hanging with our friends.
Eventually I caved in and Donated for myself, and you know… flying really IS a big deal! My nieces recently started playing Minecraft so we dragged them into our server and helped them build houses. Now we play with them regularly, in fact, they have already become donaters as well. As funny as it sounds, the game that tore my child from me has become a tool that has brought us even closer together, as well as giving us the ability to play with “the cousins” for hours. We built a house to live in together, come up with projects together, have a “Family Stable” for our horses, and literally spend hours playing as a family.
So, please don’t judge this game without actually sitting with your child and playing for a few hours. Give it an honest try. Even if you don’t love it yourself, hopefully you will see what attracts them to it and maybe you can do a little bonding while you are at it.