New Monsters on Minecraft
I KNEW there was trouble in paradise the instant I took my son’s iPad off him while he was playing Minecraft. He’d ignored me three times when I’d told him to put it down and come eat dinner.
Like a werewolf right on the strike of midnight, my seven-year-old transformed. He clenched his jaw, turned his hands into claws and came at me kicking and scratching and even trying bite me, like he hadn’t done since he was two.
“Don’t you know I was building a fortress?” he shrieked.
Shooting me a death stare as he attacked, he was severe. The only thing standing between me and a serious injury was his pint-sized 7-year-old body. Because he wanted me hurt and if he was any bigger he would have done it. One part of me wanted to laugh at the preposterous situation but I couldn’t because I was too disturbed. So I bent down on one knee and hugged him until he settled.
Ryan Heffernan with his 7-year-old son.Source:News Corp Australia
To bring you up to speed, Minecraft is a gameplay phenomenon that enables players to build worlds — castles, thrones, houses, trees, animals, fortresses, cities, countries — out of textured cubes in a 3D world. The game also involves exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat.
Once adept, a player can devise, plan and execute the creation of entire worlds that are all their own.
It sends kids nuts. It sends some adults nuts too. According to the telltale Wikipedia, Minecraft has more than 100 million registered users worldwide and is the most purchased PC game of all time with 17 million copies sold by late last year.
For some it’s like corn chips for the brain. Once you’ve started it’s hard to know how to stop.
At first I didn’t make the direct link between Louis’s behaviour and the Minecraft game; I just thought it was the iPad. But then when I thought a little harder, I acknowledged that Louis had had his iPad for three years and he had never come even close to displaying this kind of feral behaviour.
I immediately went online to investigate Minecraft and kids, certain there’d be widespread outrage about its ill effects. That it would be the scourge of our children’s digital worlds.