Alas, I am a Minecrafter

Alas, I am a Minecrafter.

What does this topic have to do with I play Minecraft because it’s fun and can be immensely challenging. (I originally called it Mindcraft, which actually kind of fits). My current play involves my avatar (the character I control) starting in a desolate frozen world alone and without food or shelter. My challenge is to see if my avatar can survive. This means finding trees to find wood to make a workbench to make wood tools to cut more wood. Then digging down into nearby mountain to find shelter before night falls and the creepy dangerous critters emerge. I can hear their skittering outside while my avatar sits in a tiny cave in the dark, waiting for daylight to appear. At light can he successfully hunt the elusive rabbits that scramble nearby? Can he survive? And then what? be continued

Both of my granddaughters play Minecraft as does many of their friends at school. My youngest is especially fervent about the game, rushing to me when she arrives from school, eager to inform me of new bits of her Minecraft knowledge. Yesterday when she arrived I told her the origin story of my avatar and the challenges he faced to survive in the bleak surroundings. There is a story here revealed as she sat nearby and held her breath as she listened to my unfolding drama.

I am a storyteller and I love stories. Great stories provide a connection between the teller and listener. My granddaughters show me what they have generated. They have their own stories to tell. Minecraft is an experience we share.

There are two primary options for playing Minecraft: creative and survival. Creative gives you all the Minecraft materials (blocks) and the freedom to use one’s imagination to create without risk. Survival is a different kind of test that requires rigorous planning immersed in a cycle of daylight and night. The worlds of Minecraft are huge. Traveling across that expanse to discover new vistas and villages is delightful drama.

The New York Times Magazine published a great article on April 14 titled The Minecraft Generation. You can it read here. I am almost 70 years old, and I consider myself a part of that generation. Minecraft is much more than a “computer game.” It is a creative challenge that unfolds in surprising ways. Immersing in that world engages my childlike self, a part of me that I can share with my lovely granddaughters and they can do likewise with me. Caring can establish memories that last a lifetime.

Continuing the story.... After finding a large expanse of water, my avatar built a small boat and sailed the sea. On the threshold of starvation, a land appeared that provided sheep and chickens to eat. He finds seeds to grow wheat that will enable the herd of sheep to multiply. Now he has to dig deep into a nearby mountain to find a special type of ore called redstone that will allow him to make a compass and map for even greater exploration. So the story continues.

Minecraft allows us create random worlds by submitting a series of letters or numbers when you begin. If you want to test yourself in the same world my avatar is in, just use the seed “1234”.

#story #Minecraft #imagination #creativity #risk #problemsolving

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