Friday, March 3, 2017

How to Play Minecraft - A Mom's Beginner's Guide - Warning! Minecraft is Addictive!

A Mom's Beginner's Guide to How to Play Minecraft and not die.

My three kids started playing Minecraft years ago. I made sure there was no blood, no gore, no vulgar language and, then let them be, to do their thing.

I soon found out that Minecraft is addictive. It’s very difficult to pull them away from it once they start. Why is it so addictive? I wasn’t able to answer this question until a few weeks ago. Minecraft is addictive because it is so dang fun!

At the beginning of summer, my 14-year-old daughter asked me if I would like to play Minecraft with her. I put her off for a while. I do everything for them: I cook, clean, chauffeur, provide for their every waking want and need, do I really have to play video games with them too? But, she persisted, so I relented. After all, when was the last time your teenage daughter asked you to play anything with her?

One of the first things I learned was that Minecraft has its own lingo. I spent a good part of the first afternoon coming up with the perfect name for my Minecraft character (Sparkleheart158), then my daughter helped me to create the perfect “skin,” complete with a polka dot t-shirt and a blue ribbon in her hair.

With Sparkleheart158 created and ready to go, my daughter unceremoniously plopped me down in a “lan world,” at nighttime. It was dark, I had no idea where I was and there were monsters after me, the variety and ferocity of which I only learned about later. I was almost immediately killed and “respawned” in the same spot. I did this over and over and over again, while my children stood behind me and laughed. Hilarious, right?! Mom is so stinkin’ hilarious.

After a few unsuccessful attempts of hiding behind trees and running for my blocky little life, my kids clued me in on how to survive in “survival mode:” Use your hands to punch some trees to make some weapons, make a shelter, even if it’s just digging into the side of a hill, and try not to be blown up by a “creeper,” not be confused with the “zombies” or the arrow shooting skeletons.

I quickly realized that survival mode was not for me. I am more of a “creative mode” mom. In creative mode, you have access to all of the Minecraft tools and resources. No need to mine or smelt or farm. Whatever you can imagine you can build! The kids and spent a few fun evenings getting on a LAN world together, creating and building villages, then switching back over to survival mode so we could war against the mobs of monsters.

At one point, I would have considered the time I spent playing Minecraft with my kids as a waste, but now I have a peek into their world, an understanding of something that they get excited about, and now maybe, at some level, they know that there is no limit to what I will do for them. I’ll even take a flaming arrow to the chest from a skeleton for them, provided I was wearing some diamond armor. Let’s not get crazy, now.

Here are a few tips every Minecraft mom needs to know:

1. It’s one of the most benign games out there. As previously stated, no blood, no gore, no vulgar language.

2. Your kids can be as social or anti-social with it as they like. They can play solo-dolo or with others. The cooperation side of it can be really fun. They can control with whom they play.

3. Imagination has no limits in Minecraft. Where else can they give a cow a ride in rowboat?

4. They can also learn good world management skills. Will they be kind of creator that protects their villagers with home and hearth? Or will they be the kind that will dump a bunch of zombies in a large pit; just to watch them burn at sunrise?

5. Again, as previously stated, Minecraft is addictive because it is so much fun. Try playing it yourself for a while so you can understand why it’s so hard to pull them away once they get started. Instead of just pulling the plug, set reasonable limits and help them to learn to manage their game time for themselves.

A lot of moms love being crafty, now try being Minecrafty!

1 comment:

I see you sitting there. Leave a comment.