We’ve opened the door to Minecraft in our family. That may sound pretty unmomentous… but a lot of families have discovered it can impose a pretty big footprint. Stories abound of kids developing obsessive levels of enthusiasm for the game, and even for the gameplay videos it inspires. (In some parenting circles, you have only to mention the name “Stampy” to provoke bared teeth and hissing.)
But despite a symphony of cautionary notes, there’s a lot to be said for Minecraft. It can be insanely creative; there’s nothing quite like the moment your kid walks you through an intricate build representing hours of their focused attention. Add in the engineering functionality of “redstone” (a mineral that allows users to create complex circuitry), and you have the virtual equivalent of Lego Mindstorms.
(Also, Stampy eschews swearing and verbal abuse, and keeps things kid-friendly. FWIW.)
Of course, I was bullish on Second Life, so take what I’m saying with a few grains of salt. But there’s remarkable depth and subtlety in the low-res, blocky world of Minecraft.
Hey, Vancouver types: if you want a job that can put those legacy pre-redstone skills to good use, check out Thursday’s Tech Fest Vancouver, brought to you by Techvibes! (Not a sponsored link—I just think it looks like a dandy event.)