Babysitting the Minecraft Way

Rules of the mine…

You have two choices: Mine with me or Mine on your own

And with that a day of Minecraft: Babysitting edition began.

Minecraft is not a game I enjoy. Minecraft is a game that allows me to do what I call sideways thinking; the mindless act of mining and placing blocks into shapes allows my mind to wander, leading to about as many “Ah ha” moments as a good shower. Other than that the music makes my soul vomit and the “gameplay” is as about as much fun as…well you come up with something that involves a finger with a broken nail, a doctor, and a sensitive part of your anatomy that you do not want the doctor to take an interest in until that nail has been seen too.

Children, however, LOVE Minecraft with a capital L. They get into the game in a way I can’t. The creative outlet I get. The interactivity I get. The rest of it…bored now. That being said when you are watching three kids so two adults can have a ladies day out, Minecraft is a much better interactive babysitting tool than television.

Plan in hand, the Xbox was turned on first thing in the morning. I generated a world and laid out the situation. Instead of me listening to them bitch and complain all day about who did what to whom and the usual video game banalities, such as who stole what from whom, they could play Minecraft on my world with me. No other game would be on the Xbox all day. In fact, right now my Minecraft dude is watching the sun rise from the top of a floating platform.

Since I was not going to be able to do what I wanted today, which was work on Paul’s game and some larger 500 Words, I decided to do some sideways thinking. Thus, I had a plan for a building I was going to build. If there is one thing I am “good” at in Minecraft, building elaborate structures is that thing. I usually get one or two good “Ah ha’s” while building.

The kids could play with me, as in help me with my structure and staying alive, or they could go their own way. Two of the kids are avid Minecraft players and the third is a newbie. I figured he would stick near me. Nope. Off he went as soon as the game started and for the next six hours, with breaks for bathroom, food, eyes, and that general sense that I as a parent shouldn’t be allowing them to play that long, death messages of all varieties popped up on our screen as the newbie learned the 1001 ways to die in Minecraft and maybe invented one or two of his own. We told him not to hit the wolf and run while next to a pit of lava. Oh well.

Meanwhile, in search of that elusive “Ah ha” moment, I built one thing, then another, then a wall, then a garden, then connected them all, all while directing the traffic of my two helpers. I should’ve known they would stick with me, I may be a hard taskmaster, but I am fair with my delegation and opportunities for job advancement; start out as block go-getter and rise to the lofty station of block-crafter and finally mine foreman.

Did I get my “Ah ha” moment, nope. But I did get 6 hours of quiet, a raging eyestrain headache, and this blog. 🙂

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