Anything for Love… the Great Minecraft Challenge.

Would you do anything for love? Anything at all? Whatever it takes?

Or do you, like Meatloaf, have an exclusion clause:

“I’ll do anything for love but I won’t do that.”

Stop! Pause. You can lie to me but you can’t lie to yourself. Well, not for long!

What is your “that”? Where do you draw the line? What are the boundaries to your love?

“I love you but…”

You’ll often hear people say: “I’d do anything for my kids”. But do they really mean it?

I don’t think so.

I’m no saint.  I am just as guilty. I’m writing this blog post at the kitchen table on a Saturday morning while our son is trying to talk to me and give me some more advice on how to play Minecraft, which he lives and breathes at the moment. So while I’m writing about doing anything for love, I’m lost in my own little world writing and not really listening to my boy.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

But at least I’m honest. I wouldn’t give up my writing for anything and I don’t think I could stop writing even if I tried. Writing is like breathing to me. It’s part of who I am. It’s etched into my DNA.

However, I acknowledge that you can pay a high price for being a writer and that can include being permanently left on your Pat Malone (I’m not sure whether that phrase is an Australianism but it means being all on your own). There is that mystical balance between belonging and being part of the herd and needing time to yourself. I am quite a people person so I do try to structure most of my writing around times around when I’m home alone so it doesn’t interfere with my relationships but you can’t always control when creativity strikes. It’s like falling in love…that sudden coup de foudre. Bang! The muse strikes and I’m her captive slave. I quickly get it down before the words fly out the window and scatter in the wind. Naturally, I do this for the greater good. You never quite know what kind of impact such inspiration might have. It could actually change the world and it would be a shame for these precious words of wisdom to go to waste.

Anyway….

Aside from giving up my writing, I am making the ultimate personal sacrifice. I have promised the rest of the family that I will learn to play MInecraft, their favourite computer game. For me this represents some serious selling out because I’m ideologically opposed to computer games just like I’m opposed to Barbies and kids playing with guns. I obviously have no moral fortitude though  because a few years ago, I bought our daughter a crate with around 20 Barbie dolls, clothes and shoes for the grand total of $20.00 at a garage sale. I have also bought our son a few of those Nerf guns. That just leaves the computer games. Well, I’ve already fallen off that wagon. I had a good dose of Mario Kart Wii when I was crook the Christmas before last and all I seemed to do was crash and dive off the edge. I’m surprised the kids ever let me drive them to school again.

Personally, I’d say having to play computer games goes well and truly beyond the call of love. They’re bad for you: addictive, anti-social and the main cause of the childhood obesity epidemic. I don’t think anyone would call me a bad mother for taking a stand here.

However in our household, I’ve now been dubbed “the snob” because I’m the only one who can’t play Minecraft. Today my daughter asked me why I don’t play Minecraft. I was strangely speechless. The rest of them love it and they play joint games together and rather than being anti-social, it actually brings them together and they are learning valuable life skills such as working as a team, respecting each other’s property, problem solving and they are also learning how to make things. They are also learning that there are bad things in this world and how to take precautions and protect themselves and stay safe…and alive!

These are excellent life skills. The sort of thing you used to learn at Brownies or Scouts.

Anyway, in kids’ speak, I’d actually made a promise and had to follow through. A promise is a promise…especially as I’m expecting the rest of the family to play the violin which is my language and it’s only fair that I learn to speak theirs. I also get the feeling that it’s very important that I learn to speak their language to remain a part of their world in the same way my mum eventually learnt to send an email and tackled her own technology challenge. She dived into the great unknown and now it’s my turn.

After all, playing Minecraft isn’t going to kill me…at least, not in real life!

But there is more to my resistance towards playing computer games than just intellectual snobbery. I can’t actually play them. I am fine using a computer for all the usual word processing type functions but I get completely stumped when it comes to anything even vaguely technical. I even struggle to operate our new fangled TV set with its state-of-the-art all-in-one remote. I’ve had to ring Geoff quite a few times at work to bail me out. This is actually quite embarrassing because in real life I’m the marketing manager for a local IT company. I should know better.

I’m also stuck in some weird kind of time warp. For me, computer games mean Space Invaders or Gallaga. Yes, I know they’re oh so retro but there’s nothing wrong with being an 80s chick.

I’ve just been accused of writing about Minecraft instead of actually playing the game so on that note, wish me luck. I’m off to encounter the creepers.

xx Rowena

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12 thoughts on “Anything for Love… the Great Minecraft Challenge.

  1. amphomma

    Good for you, getting into your family’s other “language”–I have some of the same hesitations about Barbies, guns, and video games. So far, we too have Nerf guns, our daughter is still a bit young (3) to really know what a Barbie is, and the video games are here but strictly limited! A game that my son has been playing on the xBox lately is one where you actually control the characters’ movements by jumping and moving yourself! The last time I played it with L., we were both sweaty and breathing hard by the end of the level. My husband and I figure as long as L’s grades are good, he keeps up with everything else he has to do, and he only plays for 2, 15-20 minute stretches at a time, then we’re using moderation. There are always pleas for “two more minutes”, and sometimes we say yes! I’m excited to hear how your dive into Minecraft goes! –Alison

  2. roweeee Post author

    Thanks Alison. I do need to be a bit or perhaps a lot stricter with the amount of time the kids spend playing MInecraft. I must admit I enjoy the peace too much and usually get a lot of attitude when I ask them to switch it off. They have dance, music and swimming lessons after school which effectively limit their time on there without making it too formal. Geoff loves playing too. It is good how the three of them interact and chat a lot as they play and this is quite different to more solo type games.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  3. Chellerbelle

    Your muses are female huh? I suspect mine are male ’cause they keep showing up when I’m trying to enjoy nice hot bubble baths… perverts! 😉

    One of the things I loved the most growing up was when my Dad and my brothers would play Warcraft II with each other. Sunday afternoons would be when we’d play and on the drive home from Church one of us would go “Hey can we play Warcraft II this arvo?” It was a lot of fun. Mum never joined us, but I think that was part lack of interest and part lacking enough computers. I very much treasure those memories, not because of the game (although I still enjoy playing Warcraft), but because of the time I got to share with my family.

  4. roweeee Post author

    I’ve never really considered whether my muses were male or female before. They sort of look like angels and now I take a closer look, they are definitely female. My muses are definitely technically challenged just like me. I usually hand write a lot of my blog posts and general writing first. That’s partly to do with speed and quickly getting the ideas down before I forget but I also suspect there is something about the movement of the pen over paper that is more inspiring than tapping on a computer keyboard. Any thoughts?
    I like your perverts muses. Had a good laugh.
    As much as I’m not into computer games myself, I have recognised that the rest of the family is bonding through them and I want to be a part of that even if it’s going to be a very steep learning curve.
    Not only am I technically challenged, I also get lost very easily.
    Space Invaders is definitely a better game for me.
    xx Ro

  5. Chellerbelle

    I think we’re all inspired by different things. Neither typing or using pen and paper seem to have any influence on me in that respect one way or another. But then, I can also do both quickly which is probably a critical detail. Getting those thoughts down fast before they decide to blow away in the wind is pretty important, methinks, hehehe.

    I love telling people about my perverted muses 😉

    Would it help at all if I suggested that computer games are just electronic board/card games?

  6. mysticcooking

    There was a time when I was super addicted to Free Cell – I was supposed to be writing, and that was my go-to method of stalling. It got so I was seeing those cards in my sleep…it’s amazing how addicting those games can be, so now I try to stay away from them since I’ve learned I can’t play responsibly. 🙂

  7. roweeee Post author

    Thank you for visiting my blog!
    My husband would tell you that my blog is my addition although as far as I’m concerned my writing is also work although I haven’t quite worked out how to make a living from it yet. I do work in marketing and PR and that does use my writing skills but that doesn’t include the blog.
    By the way, if you make money out of your addiction is it still a bad thing?
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  8. roweeee Post author

    For me writing is a lot faster as I have bits of paper and pens scattered all around the house whereas the computer is usually out of immediate reach to protect it from nasties like the kids and spilled drinks. Even though our computers are reasonably fast, by the time I’ve logged on etc inspiration could well have flown away unless, of course, I’ve handwritten those first few lines.
    I’m not sure that I agree that all computer/ electronic games are just electronic board or card games. I have never got lost playing patience or snap whereas I don’t think I’ve ever been found in Minecraft. Sadly for me, Minecraft stretches the analogy too far.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  9. Chellerbelle

    I guess in my case I’m almost always in front of a computer, heh.

    I’ve never played Minecraft so I can’t apply the analogy too specifically, but I’d wager that patience and snap are too simple an analogy based on your description of the game in your blog. Presumably the mechanics of Monopoly would be closer: You start off with certain resources at your disposal. You have the means by which you can acquire more resources, usually at the immediate cost of some of your resources on hand. How well you perform will be determined by what happens with other players as well as ‘random’ elements within the game (whatever is the equivalent of a dice roll or drawing cards).

  10. roweeee Post author

    Well done! You might not have played Minecraft b ut Geoff and I both agree with your Monopoly analogy. The difference in Minecraft is that you join forces with the other players against the creepers. I’m sure Monopoly must have caused some kind of murder in it’s long history. I know I used to steal money from the bank as a kid…shame! Shame! Shame!

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