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Thanks to the boys’ Uncle Josc, we have a “new” game in our house….and that game is Minecraft. The boys have been playing a free version of Minecraft on their iPods….”PE” or Pocket Edition to those in the know (a subset of human beings that currently numbers…everyone but me?)…and were already addicted to it.

They had been asking for the “paid’ version to play on our laptops at home and on servers with their friends. Evan and Will enjoyed the creative possibilities SO much that they were hooked on watching videos of OTHER people playing it, designing “worlds”, etc., on YouTube.

Of course, after their “Oops, We Just Spent $150” incident with Pets Hotel (and Apple, dear, dear, unforgiving Apple), I was hesitant to open that door again. That is, until I realized that “those in the know” (I’ve already explained, above, who belongs to this group) are ALL playing, paying a reasonable one-time fee, and enjoying this creativity-stimulating game.

That’s where their Uncle Josc stepped in, for their birthday, not just paying for their sign-ons, but also making a house call to set it all up (the most important part of the the gift for those of us NOT in the know). 

Without further ado…the top five things I’ve learned from Minecraft…

5. Our food comes from animals (albeit pixelated animals), not cans or boxes. Okay, I already knew that, but watching the boys hunt for the their own food reminded us all what it means to provide for yourself.

4. Everyone needs a home base. If you carry all of your stuff around with you, and you fall into lava…you lose your stuff….oh, and you DIE. In other words (those of Moss Hart to be specific), “You can’t take it with you.”

3. Never dig straight down…I stole this from Minecraft Wiki, and didn’t understand it at first (yes, I’m dim). The point? It’s important to have an exit strategy.

2. You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to allocate to more memory to JAVA. If I can do it, anyone can. (It shouldn’t have taken HOURS to figure out, but I did it, dammit, and that’s all that matters)

and, most importantly….

1. “It’s just a game, Mom.” Maybe it’s my personality (of COURSE it’s my personality!), but I was the one who was devastated when the boys lost ALL of their progress, their inventory, etc. whilst playing. I’d watched them work so hard, collecting things, building stuff, only to lose it (to the aforementioned lava). I was all, “what do you mean you lost everything!” “what were you doing so close to that lava?!” “what do mean you didn’t build shelter!?” “what were you THINKING!!!”

To which, they calmly replied, “It’s just a GAME, Mom.”

Mental note…MUST remember to stop projecting my own crazy onto others!