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Being a gamer and a father is a time consumer. The father role has absolutely pushed things I considered fun further away from reality. Even though it’s nothing I would exchange for the other it’s still mind-blowing to understand that games like Minecraft have just sped right past me leaving me with absolutely no possibility to understand the concept as pictures don’t tell a thousand words in this case. The default graphics are awful; a real turn off in other words.
It’s almost mind-boggling to see my younger self (my son) being glued for hours to the iPad playing the same game I’ve previously turned down. I felt more or less forced to at least give the little man a try and let him make me understand what the hive is all about. Soon I downloaded the game to my own iPad ($6.99 at the App Store) and settled down next to him in the couch.
First Interaction in the World of Blocks
As my son explained that for us two to interact we would either have to connect to an external server for free or get the PocketMine app ($2.99). Connect to an external server is little more tricky compared to the other option but seeing as I’m a computer programmer by daytime I couldn’t imagine myself it would be that hard.
After a little bit of tinkering we finally got it working. Right before me in the game stood a man with a weird choice of clothes. It was my son. Apparently I looked the same as I glanced over on his screen as this was the default skin called Steve as I was soon told.
It came apparent to me that for the first time in our so far shared life it was so obvious he was the one who knew what to consider our next move to be. He jumped around swinging his sword to his left and right while I stood close to him trying to understand how to look straight forward while moving. It kind of felt like that time when your younger brother or friend introduced you to that new console; back then perhaps a little bit annoying but right then at the moment with my son in a game I thought it was kind of awesome.
In pictures I had previously seen the blocky architecture but it wasn’t until now that I understood that every block in the world could be destroyed and replaced. The concept was so incredibly simple but when actually doing it in terms of building ourselves our own house the whole idea actually gave me a better understanding of the game. I feel no shame in admitting I have played similar games in the past. Take The Sims or SA-MP for example. I loved the fact of being able to do something in a game that felt close to reality. Minecraft brought me the same type of feelings back.
Minecraft Pocket Edition brought me the first experience ever of playing an online game together with my child. Even though I’ve become a father and washed over with more resonsiblities this experience taught me to keep the few things in life we enjoy still going, and if possible as in my case, combine our hobbies with our real life current situations. Because what happens when you take one element which you love and combine it with another element you enjoy doing? In my words the two make a perfect couple and the fun is multiplied.