Working Mum: Digging a rich seam of discoveries with Minecraft

By Giles Broadbent on September 5, 2014 1:01 AM |



By Tabitha Ronson

I've done a terrible thing; I've succumbed to the whines and moans of Master A and downloaded Minecraft onto the iPad.

"I'm the only one in the world who doesn't know how to play it," he would cry.

Not any more. He's hooked. Given the opportunity he would be playing it from the moment he gets up to the time he goes to bed. It's like crack for kids. He needs his fix - and gets rather irate if it's not available. Think Minion after a PX-41 serum shot.

Curious as to the cuboid game's appeal, I watched over Master A's shoulder as he played at the weekend.

He was so animated as he wandered through the various landscapes, breaking blocks and then replacing them, fighting zombies (sorry, I know this is not the correct geek speak) giving me a running commentary as he did so.

He seemed particularly excited when he started wading through streams of flowing lava before taking me up to his rooftop swimming pool.

Who knew this 3D "procedurally generated" world could be so much fun? I ask with a hint of irony.

I'm not sure going cold turkey is ideal for a six-year old so I've imposed a time limit on Master A's Minecraft sessions in an attempt to wean him from his addiction. I'm waiting to see if this plan works or whether we'll need additional support from The 12-Step Recovery Programme.

Still puzzled, I quizzed him as to why he enjoyed playing the game so much. "It's cool, Mummy. You can go anywhere... do anything... build whatever you like... find items to help you... you have to fight bad guys..."

Hmmm, so Minecraft is a world of building, exploring, gathering resources, crafting, fighting - one might say the basic motivations of the male of the species.

Master A is simply acting out his primal instincts through a game. Perhaps, I shouldn't be too judgmental.

"...and you get to fly, too."

Working Mum, realising that I'm never going to fully understand the workings of my son's beautiful mind.