My friend JP is thrilled. He’s registered for Minecon this weekend. He’ll be going with his 9 year old son.
I love the idea of the Father/Son Con, but I don’t get Minecraft.
I mean I know it’s a thing, and I have the app, but I don’t really know much more than that. My son’s friends who have older brothers know about it, and he’s asked me a couple of times about it. I just don’t know if I want to expose my 6yr old to the deep dark world of gaming.
I once had a PS2. I owned it for just a couple of weeks before I sold it. I spent an entire weekend locked inside playing Metal Gear Solid and realized it was an obsession that needed to end. I already spend too much time online, I don’t need to spend more time gaming.
Still, JP loves Minecraft for his son. He has a private server set up for his son and friends, and he can monitor everything that’s going down. The hacking culture of the game even inspired his son to pick up programming – at age 9.
I think that’s pretty cool, but I still don’t know much more beyond that.
JP explained it to me as “virtual Lego.” And it makes sense. “I watch kids create the same way they do with Lego blocks,” he tweeted. “That’s it. Lego missed the boat in my opinion big time. The went with 3rd person shooters, what is Legoish about that is ask?”
And as I watched my sons play yet another Lego Star Wars shoot ‘em up game on the iPad tonight I’m frustrated I haven’t figured out a better way for them to use their digital time. They love building with the bricks, they can easily take that energy to the virtual world.
So I’ve been digging in and it’s more than apparent that Minecraft is not only a good thing to pick up a love for programming, it has many other educational benefits too.
Here’s just some of the things that people say are great about Minecraft, and places you can learn more about it to see if it’s something you want to get your kids into.
I’ll follow my son’s lead on this one. If it’s something that he continues to ask about and show an interest in, I’ll mess around with him and see how we both feel. In the meantime, I’ll continue to try and figure out exactly what the heck this game is.
What about you? Are your kids into Minecraft? Is it a good thing or bad thing?