Saturday, September 14, 2013

MINECRAFT OBSESSION


If Liam and Conor are playing Minecraft, they are watching You-Tube videos of other people playing. To say that Minecraft has become an obsession is an understatement.

The cross-platform on-line block game has a level of devotion that no other game has gained amongst my kids and many of their friends.  There are you-tube videos, parody songs, clothing, skins, texture packs and entire cities replicated. They get to run around, explore, design, discover and solve problems. They are becoming great project managers!

The graphics suck, lots of pixels, but the novelty of a never-ending cycle of unique discoveries and building their own worlds seems insatiable.

Like all novel games, toys or even new bikes, kids get obsessed at the expense of other things like homework, bedtime and chores. At our house we have always been strict about playtime to ensure that priorities are understood. Establishing some clear boundaries. Still, we get moans and groans when they have to turn off a game and go to supper, do some homework or hit the sack.

I think it is important to watch for the point where the line between obsession and addiction is crossed.

Only one of our guys would prefer being absorbed into the world of Minecraft over scootering or playing outdoors. We often talk about finding the balance. He just turned 10 but he seems to understand the importance of engaging in other activities but left to his own devices, I am not sure he would take a break!

Are any of my readers with kids experiencing the same phenomena with their children? Is the Minecraft obsession driving you around the bend? Have you tried to play the game? What kind of structure have you put in place?

In the meantime, I think this topic might be worthy of a little more investigation and discussion.

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