My kids are basically techie kids. They are all at different levels and each really love their technology. Nine years ago my oldest asked my to help him purchase a beta game from the Netherlands called Minecraft. I hadn’t heard of it but after some research it looked like something to invest $15 in. It reminded me of the very basic computer games that I played in school when we got our first computers. It was no Oregon Trail but I thought we’d give it a try.
From that day on Minecraft became the go to game. It was like the favorite pair of footie pajamas passed down from sibling to sibling. When one felt they were getting too old to play a younger sibling would take over.
The kids have gotten older and over the past months there’s a growing trend that I have noticed. The kids aren’t at the computer playing the game anymore. They are gathered around their devices watching Minecraft videos on YouTube.
As a parent there are major differences that I see in this transition between game play and watching game play. Kids tend to have their favorite YouTubers. Some of these people are intentionally creating family friendly content and others are teens/young adults just having fun and playing the game. I try to listen when my kids are watching the videos and live streams. There are times when I have heard language that I don’t approve of and have the kids switch to a different YouTuber. I encourage parents to monitor their child’s YouTube usage.
Here’s a blog that describes some of the Minecraft YouTubers that are recommended for children. http://learningworksforkids.com/2015/03/minecraft-videos-watch/
I love listening to the kids all laugh along with their YouTubers. They seem to have formed a community around Minecraft. They have their own language and cultural norms. They know when their favorite YouTuber’s birthday is and where they live.
It’s such a different generation of kids that are tuned into technology in a way I never expected.
I have a lot to learn.