Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Minecraft at 50 something

I am madly in love with my nephew.  Because of this, I was willing to spend hours hovering over his shoulders, while he created amazing universes that include museums, libraries, coffee shops and hot dog stands.  Once in a while, he'd tire of my loitering, and suggest I purchase a game of my own, then we can be co-maestros of worlds yet to be founded.  I'd always decline, preferring to champion his next effort (that's what I told him anyhow.  The truth is, I had a love affair with the Mario Brothers in my 20's, and spent many a sleepless night trying to save the princess. Yes, you could call it gamer addiction).  My other excuse, was that my 2004 laptop couldn't handle the massiveness of Minecraft (this was 100% true).

When I purchased a new Apple, the hard sell began (read - I know I have you wrapped around my pinky finger and I've decided it's time for you to cave).  So, I plunked down the $20 at Minecraft.com, and as suspected, I'm hooked.  Yes, we do spend Sunday afternoons creating villages, complete with villagers, water features and high rises, and we laugh and he complains when I do something terribly un-expertly-Minecrafty (aka "n00b").  But as I feared, I'm hooked.  When he goes home, I mine and search for diamonds and hidden shelters filled with lava and water falls, sometimes until midnight (which is two hours past my bedtime).  

This is totally different than my former days though.  This time, I'm exercising my brain.  After all, the use of tools such as mathematics, logic and creative acumen is intrinsic to Minecraft play.   Minecraft is surely better than any crossword, and I'm improving my skills so that my darlin little guy can complain less and fun more.  And, he designs "mini-games" that force logic, fun and to his credit, they're better than any thing available on the market.  This is not addiction, this is improvement, growth and perhaps even spirituality.  


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