Friday, July 19, 2013

I Hate Minecraft and That's Okay

So….yeah…ummm…yesterday’s blog may have stumbled over into that territory known as Too Much Information Land. I apologize if I offended any of the chaste among you. As expected, I am pretty much over it today. Maybe a Dairy Queen Blizzard and a good night’s sleep was really all I needed. In reality, isn’t that really all that every mom needs?

It’s Friday and I am feeling somewhat better. So it’s back to my usually neurotic drivel about my children. Today is Lucas’ turn.

His latest obsession? Minecraft.

He wants to play it all the time. Of course, we place limits on his iPad time like the responsible parents we try to pretend we are, but that does not stop him from asking to play on the iPad at least 325,956 times a day. Seriously. I think he asks with every single exhale. And his requests usually begin with, “I know you’re gonna say no but…”

If you know I am going to say no, why not simple save us both the aggravation? Why not just march on your merry way and stop staring at the iPad sitting on the end table. It’s really creeping me out, dude! Unfortunately, a ten year old does not possess the higher logical processes needed to realize that he is annoying the living shit out of his momma. Or he doesn’t care. Probably the latter.

So what does a boy do when his momma refuses to allow him 24-hour access to Minecraft? Does he….oh, I don’t know…

Go outside?
Get some fresh air?
Soak in some much-needed vitamin D through his pale, pasty pores?
Read a book?
Build something?
Walk the dog?
Play with the brother and sister who constantly beg him to please, please show them some attention?
Clean something?

No. Of course not. Those ideas are stoooo-pid.

What does he do instead? He watches videos on YouTube of two twenty-something nerds playing Minecraft. Seriously. He watches them build things while they chatter incessantly off camera about how cool the things they are building are. No doubt, they live in their parents’ basements. There are thirty “episodes” and counting.

Then—and this is the kicker—he then wants to discuss the videos with me. At length. I know it is important to listen to your children when they speak. That’s Parenting 101, right? But there has to be some caveats to that rule. There has to be reasonable exceptions. There must be language in the parenting handbook that says something along the line of:

Thou shalt ignore your child with impunity when he/she is talking about dumb shit.

Right? I’m not being a completely degenerate parent when I tune out all of the Minecraft talk, am I? I’ve tried explaining that I’m just not interested in Minecraft, though I completely adore him and am totally interested in him. But it doesn’t deter him in the least. He has convinced himself that somewhere—deep, deep below the surface—his momma is harboring a secret love of Minecraft that he has some pre-adolescent responsibility to coax to the surface with dogged persistence.

Anyone interested in a gently used iPad? And a laptop? And perhaps a cute, though somewhat fixated, ten-year-old boy?



Madgew said...

I'll take him. I have no idea what Minecraft is and my grand kids have not found it yet to my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Minecraft has the ability to stretch a kid's imagination. Think of it as a virtual Lego, except the possibilities are endless.

Also, many these "twenty-somethings living in their parents' basements" are successful Youtubers who earn a fair bit of money just for posting videos. Check out TheSyndicateProject. He's a 19 year-old kid who is living THE life, travelling under the sponsorship of many gaming companies, for his love for video games.

Bottom line is, the possibilities are endless. Encourage him. Don't stifle his creativity just because his interests are not yours.

Anonymous said...

Two things from another parent...

1. Minecraft is like legos for this generation. Right down to the crazy technic packs. If he delves really far into it and all the things people do, he will learn about robotics, programming, and even electrical engineering (at least the basics). Minecraft mods get ridiculously science oriented.

2. Not chiding, but if your child is wanting to talk to you about their latest passion, this is the perfect chance to engage them. Growing up, my father only wanted to discuss race cars with me. He refused to deal in any of my passions; he'd tell me to go play on my own (because the TV was SOOOO much more important). All he had to do was make the effort to delve into them a bit with me, and our relationship would have ended much better.

Minecraft can be used for learning and development; please consider trying to join him in the obsession a bit so that you may guide it to useful channels.

Tammy Bisotti said...

You are living my life! I do prefer my kids playing Minecraft to Grand Theft Auto, but as much as I try, I cannot keep up with a Minecraft conversation. I found a compromise. After he has built something he considers to be cool, I have him show it to me on the game. I can't keep track of the terminology (creeper? ender dragon?), but I can compliment visual aspects of his creation (That's cool how you put the torches along the floor beside your storage chests, etc.).

Anonymous said...

I understand how addicting minecraft can be, as I have played it, and after a while I got extremely bored of it. All you have to do is get him to play other games. Less addicting ones with save points so he can easily transition off of the game. Here are 3 games that are easy to transition off of: Halo 4, spiral knights, and Dungeons of dreadmor. If you don't want him playing video games at all, get him to use his imagination to play his video games! Tell him to go pretend hes inside the game or whatever. I hope I have helped,

Anonymous said...

The thing is, these youtubers "living in their parents basements" might even be millionaires if they are popular enough. Minecraft has educational aspects, especially if you want your child to become an engineer or something. Is it better for him to talk with you a lot about something you understand or talk about nothing with you at all. If you do't understand, just say, "cool!" and stuff like that. You could ask him to give you a demo.

CarlaGJ said...

Fast forward to 2016 and this is me right now (kind of freaked out how someone out there feels and thinks exactly the same way I do)!

Please tell me they get over this and how long it took??!?

Shannon Ralph said...

They eventually graduate to watching OTHER PEOPLE play Minecraft on YouTube. Three years later, little has changed except that he is now 6 feet tall. Sorry I don't have better news for you. :)

Shannon Ralph said...

They eventually graduate to watching OTHER PEOPLE play Minecraft on YouTube. Three years later, little has changed except that he is now 6 feet tall. Sorry I don't have better news for you. :)

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