Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Raising Gamers

It's finally happened, my kids have taught me how to play a video game. Ever hear of Minecraft? It's a spiffy little product that was developed by some programmers and set loose on the world. A whole community has risen up and produced hours of video and tomes of information about how to play the game. There are also many songs written about it, parody's of other songs, mostly, that we've all had a lot of fun with it.

It's great because there is no walk through or instruction guide. You've got to discover what to do. And my kids did just that. Then they showed me how to get started and how to get help.

It's now become a family passion.

The best thing about this experience for me is that it reminds me that I need to be who I am. I used to hide the fact that I am a gamer, thinking maybe that I would be perceived as immature. So, I wouldn't engage with others about it. I just pulled the blinds and huddled in a corner to play Civilization until my eyes bled. Or I'd game with a few close friends.

But I was raised a gamer myself. My Dad took me to arcades every Saturday where he would spend one quarter on Donkey Kong and I would spend many on several of my favorite games. Then we got an Odyssey system, followed by an Atari 800, followed by a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, etc. And I didn't have to ask for one of these. They were my Dad's and he was my guide through the digital playland.

And I've spent a lot of time with Doc helping the girls find their way too. And now they are showing us the way using terms like "n00b, biome, wiki." And they're good little teachers too!

As a result, our new family obsession is Minecraft. We look at the world together as a place to be chopped, picked and slashed at. We try to keep safe and watch out for zombies. We get lost then find our way. It's totally awesome...I mean epic, as the kids are saying.