11 Jul
2014
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Learning Minecraft as a Second Language

Two days ago I would have said the days my children look forward to without fail are their birthdays and Christmas. Alas, I was wrong (again). I had not lived through the pandemonium surrounding the release of Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9.0…better known as “the biggest update ever.” I was completely unaware of how life altering a game update could be for young people.

Starting up a game of Minecraft on the Kindle Fire

Thursday may as well have had a red circle marking the importance of the date. I’ve listened for days to children longing for Thursday. Numerous times someone has inquired as to the exact time the update would be released. Here’s my confession: I have never been good at gaming of any sort and talking about any type of game results in my eyes glazing over. I fear I’m not wired to appreciate this love my boys have. I’ve spent my waking hours this week doing one of three things: laundry, cooking or listening to Minecraft discussions.

Multiplayer game session of Minecraft with three devices

I’m in awe of the knowledge the boys have concerning all things Minecraft because we rarely allow gaming time. During the school year, they’ll go weeks without gaming. In the summer, gaming is saved for our many road trips. Even then, our driving time includes listening to audio books and talking to each other. Our home being what it is, we have several books on the topic that get carted around town and dragged from room to room. I don’t want to know how pervasive Minecraft is in homes where it’s allowed to be played every day.

The only foreign language my children are fluent in is Minecraft-ese. My three boys will talk non-stop about crafting benches, redstones, biomes and Endermen.
As far as games go, I’d much rather them play Minecraft over most other trendy games. I’ve watched my three boys sit next to each other, cooperating together within worlds to the better of their game. While I would enjoy a more diverse list of topics to discuss, hearing them, even when I can’t understand what they’re saying, talk non-stop with one another, makes my mama heart swell.

Hoping for help by reading The Minecraft Guide for Parents

Sometimes I wonder if all the chatting about Minecraft isn’t done for the sole purpose of seeing me look completely confused. They may do it because they know I’ll remain mostly silent. I can be counted on to say one phrase, repeatedly, “Wait, what does that mean?”

Yesterday our public library may have rescued me from Minecraft incompetence in the form of Cori Dusmann’s book, The Minecraft Guide for Parents: Down-to-Earth Advice for Parents of Children Playing Minecraft. There’s a breakdown of all the terminology I’ve come to know yet not understand. Most importantly for me is a breakdown on how to get started. I have high-hopes of starting my own game and getting to utter the words, “Hey, boys come check out what I built.”

 

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