The game that everyone seems to love has finally arrived in our house! For some reason I’d been holding out until we could get a decent computer set up for the girls to run Minecraft on, and then it hit me that a friend of ours plays it on the PS3, and… well, we have a PS3!! So, I downloaded it.
The girls were beside themselves with excitement. We’ve had the game for three weeks now and I don’t think there has been a single day that they haven’t been dying to play it. And quite frankly, I have been stunned with how quickly they picked it up. Lauren struggled with the controls for all of a day before she got the hang of it, and they build SO fast these days.
The beauty of having it on the PS3 is that the two big girls can play it together, and we only need the one account. They take turns generating worlds, and are actually being really mindful of the other. I was surprised. Even when their friend came to play in their world, there were no issues. They ask each other before they do anything (Can I build here? Can I live in this particular building of yours? Is it okay if I add/change this), they never break something someone else has built – so courteous and respectful, which is wonderful! I actually think it’s improved their play outside of the game, because they are now more aware of the effort that other people put into things.
Anyway, I’ve given them free reign over the school holidays. They play for several hours a day, and spend a couple more watching minecraft videos on youtube (Stampey is their fav), getting ideas which they then take back into their own worlds. Lauren wanted to know a good way to build a castle, so they watched a video on that and then she went and made her own version of it. Pretty cool! The complexity of their buildings is increasing daily, as are the number of buildings they develop. Not knowing a lot about the game myself, I’ve not been able to give them any instruction and they are learning as they go. It’s wonderful.
Because I like to use their passions to help with home schooling, I’ve been kicking around some ideas for how we can use Minecraft to expand their knowledge even more. There are quite a few places online that offer lessons for homeschoolers using Minecraft, but I think because we’re using the PS3 version, and are in different times zones, that might not work so well. So this morning I broached the topic and asked how they would feel if we did some learning about different cultures and times in history, and then they could work on building villages from those times and cultures.
They thought that was an awesome idea! They are always looking for new things to build.
I suggested we start here at home, with a Maori Pa. I have heaps of resources from New Zealands history, so this is a no brainer. We have already done quite a lot of learning there and I don’t think it will take them long to learn the basics and design their own. The school term officially begins on Monday, and I’m dying to see how this plays out. Looking forward to sharing with you how it goes!