Sunday, June 16, 2019

Minecraft Bonding With My Daughter

I hadn't played much Minecraft since a co-worker showed me an original beta version, but I knew enough about the best selling PC game to suggest that my creative daughter give it a try. I thought it would be a great outlet for her crafty passion and also a nice way to get some more exposure to computers. At first, we tried Creative mode and having just watched The Swiss Family Robinson, we jumped into building a treehouse. We spent a reasonable amount of time working on that world and then one (or both?) of us suggested we try Survival mode.

Survival mode is a real-time strategy game and is therefore highly addictive. Before we knew it, we were using any time we could to build up our world and it got quite intense. The first time my daughter fell into lava, she was distraught because she had lost everything she was carrying: tools, weapons, supplies, etc. I started to regret ever leaving Creative mode, but things calmed down and we're now at a reasonable place where it's just one of the things we do and it's not such a big deal if someone goes swimming in lava.

Here's a screenshot of the first survival house we built that wasn't just a shelter from monsters.

Minecraft house cawood blog

The best part is that she got interested in Redstone engineering. For anyone who doesn't know, Redstone is the Minecraft way to create circuits that can power machines, traps, and other things in Minecraft. My wife suggested a lighthouse would be cool, so we build a functioning lighthouse together using Redstone. She even has her own Creative mode test world where she tries out Redstone inventions before she uses them in her other worlds. It's super cool.

I highly recommend this sort of cooperative play with your kids--just watch those screen time limits. We've thoroughly enjoyed the experience and my daughter has even started doing a Minecraft after school program.