It's strange, I look at all these wonderful blogs and see beautiful crafts people do with their children, or the adventures they get up to in beautiful settings (ok we do have some adventures but not as many as I would like) and I feel a tinge of jealousy that our life isn't like that. I then bemoan the fact that there are very few blogs that I have come across that share what life is like with older children who go to school, but then don't often blog about what my lot do! Why don't I blog about it? Probably because it doesn't fit in with the crafty, slow(er) living, low tech life that I dream about. But I'm going to redress this imbalance right now and introduce you to Minecraft.
It has taken over the boys lives a little bit, especially since Stuart set up a server for them, so they can now play online with each other and their friends. So what is it? It's a computer game where you have to mine for things and then can make items with the things that you mine. The example that sticks in my head is if you combine water and lava you get obsidian, but you can only mine the obsidian if you have already found diamond to make a diamond drill bit. The boys create accomodation and have to protect it from creatures that try to destroy it all when night falls.
Since they have now got a server, some of their school friends are joining in the fun too. Although it also adds a political element to it too. There have been occasions when some of the children have been silly, and Luke and Alec who are moderators are sorting things out as diplomatically as possible (I overheard Luke at one point, and was struck with how fair he was being). They have also introduced a monetary system, which has already thrown up a few interesting results. For example Luke is now employing Ethan in the making of potions to sell. But last night somebody started to steal the potions.
I am really impressed with the imagination and skills this game draws upon. It is not the most graphically enhanced of games, which I think adds to its charm. However, and this is the double edged sword bit, it does suck them in to spending alot of time on the computer. Luke and Ethan are pretty good at regulating themselves, but Alec finds it difficult to to drag himself away, and when he isn't playing it, he is researching things about, but then that is all part of his character, such a focussed child when something interests him. For half-term we have had to impose a curfew, so that after lunch computer time is ended and we go find something else to do. I don't like curfews, but without it I know exactly what this half term would consist of!!
So there you have it, technically addicted children, but they are my children, and I can see the benefits they are getting from it as well as the drawbacks! And right now, it is simply...life!
Oh, and on a completely different note, don't forget my giveaway to celebrate 300 posts. Just leave a comment here.