Not that long ago, I wrote about my children's obsession with the online sandbox game, Minecraft. At the time, I was concerned abut two things mainly: their addiction to playing it ALL. THE. TIME. and the behaviour of the other people on the multi-player servers.
In the months that have ensued, we seem to have navigated the addiction issue. Possibly it's that the novelty has worn off ... possibly it's that I totally rock as a parent (my money's on the former). Either way, now they know they have to do their homework and chores before they play, and when I tell them it's time to log out of the game and turn off the computer they
always usually comply right away.
But honestly, the biggest factor in our current Minecraft detente has got to be the dedicated server that my daughter manages. She decides who gets to play and who doesn't. She chooses who has "admin" privileges along with her (sister and friend) and together they set the rules and enforce them. They seem to have gathered a small group of kids around the same age who like to play by the same rules - no griefing (that means destroying stuff other people have made) being the first and foremost.
So now that the addiction has cooled off and Minecraft has moved more into the sphere of pastime, I've had the chance to actually appreciate what it has to offer. In fact, just the other day my older daughter had this to say:
"Mom, I know you don't like me playing Minecraft, but it's not just a game, I'm actually an architect: see?"
They built the chapel so that they could have a virtual Minecraft wedding. Quite a bit of a different vibe from the endless griefing and killing they experienced on the other servers they played on.
So, in the end, I would say that time has helped us arrive at a peaceful Minecraft detente. The girls play for a reasonable amount of time in a more controlled environment. I'm going to give this one a passing grade now.