Who’s Watching Minecraft?

Who's Watching

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.

Snow & Cold

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I am usually not one to complain about the cold because I have chosen to stay in Minnesota. I love that, unlike many other areas of the US, we have all four seasons of the year.

However, this winter has not been fun. Most days its too cold to be outside. We also have more snow than I can remember having since I was a little kid.

The schools have closed 5 times since New Years. The first couple of days meant the kids a little extra time to enjoy Christmas gifts.  I am still finding those Rainbow Loom bands everywhere!

The next three days off I was tired. The kids actually wanted to get back to school because they had teachers emailing assignments home and would rather get their assignments at school.

I saw many Facebook posts from friends who had their kids at the movies, bowling, trampoline parks, etc. That’s just not in our budget.

My kids spent their days playing Minecraft…. I’m pretty sure I would be able to make some sort of educational connection if I tried but I’ve decided that I’m human and I admit that, at times, my kids get more screen time than the experts recommend. When they are not on the screens they ask inquisitive questions and we have great conversations. Our family dinners are never dull as you never know where the conversation is going to go.

So guilt. Nope. Don’t have any.

The experts will keep making their recommendations but I have to go with what is realistic with my kids and our family. Yes – I may tuck those recommendations somewhere in my brain-  but when it comes down to it I’m going to go with my gut.

So, it’s a balance I guess.