And so it is that the Oh Waily family have tumbled down in to the Minecraft world. We are still falling, all askew, down in to that dark pit of digital lego. Our fall should be stopped, abruptly, roughly 24 blocks down… if my maths and memory are any good.
I have resisted allowing access to computer games for a while, mostly because I am keenly aware of how easy it is to become all-obsessed with them. Finally, however, I thought I would relent and see what the much talked about Minecraft was all about.
Little did I know what a giant can o’worms I was going to be opening with this one.
At first we were mystified by the square trees, the hammering things with our fingers and hands, and all the nasties that came to kill us on our first nights. Then we discovered ‘peaceful’ mode, the oh-so-necessary wikis of information on how to actually make things in this world and how to craft things to survive. From there we moved on to the world of YouTube videos, and the apparent stars of Minecraft videos – Stampy and Ballistic Squid. There may be others of note online, but the Oh Waily kids are fully hooked, obsessed and in love with the antics of two British lads, their orange cat avatar and oddly disturbing squid-headed avatar. Not to mention the silent (at least while building with Stampy) L for Leeeeee and his cakes. Oh yes, this Mum has come to know who is who in this world. Whether I really wanted to or not.
Swimming against the tide of opinion, and in the face of kids who wish to end up with a sign in Stampy’s Love Garden some day, I am opening my arms to the world of Minecraft and all of the things it can, has and will be able to teach my small people.
Today I posted a quick screenshot to our Instagram feed.
It follows our history lesson, where we were learning some of the finer points of pyramids and mummies, during which the Oh Waily kids generated idea after idea for creations in our newly minted Pukeko Patch History World on Minecraft. A creative mode world, it’s purpose is for re-creations of various ancient civilisations, as the kids see fit. We found the perfect (for us) seed world and set to it. I have a small (and I really mean small) hand in starting & helping out with the construction.
The pyramid pictured is about 30 blocks tall so you can just imagine how big that becomes at the base.
They built it from smooth sandstone blocks and chose snow to mimic the limestone coating. Current thought is to leave it as it is, which mimics the worn state of Khufu’s pyramid at Giza. The one nod to the way it would have been when first complete, is the glowstone capping block, as replacement for the gold top.
I’m pretty proud of their efforts. It’s not a small task they undertook, and they’ve done a great job so far. I believe there will be more work to be done. I’m hoping for a network of rooms, tunnels and traps. Perhaps the odd treasure or two, and most definitely some sort of sarcophagus. But that’s down to them, so we’ll have to see how far their enthusiasm for it goes.
I will be sure to share snapshots of progress and, should I ever learn how, a walkthrough guided tour of The Pukeko Patch History World via video. Perhaps one day we will learn the skills to upload our very own YouTube videos.