For those thinking that this was going to be an awesome piece of fiction possibly with an urban sci-fi twist, sorry. We’ve had an ongoing battle here at the house, real play with real toys vs. techno play with computers and other devices. For a while we were doing well. There was a good balance between the two and it seemed that everyone was fairly happy.
That was before the discovery of Minecraft – the Legos of the software world.
I haven’t played it enough to grasp the appeal, but apparently it has enough flexibility for the player to make it whatever kind of game he wants. It has the power to keep my eight-year old anchored in front of the computer for hours and when he’s not playing it’s the only thing he’ll talk about.
It’s not that I mind too much that he loves the game. I grew up playing everything from Super Mario to Tetris, often for hours at a time. Sometimes I still do. What does drive me crazy is the fighting between siblings that the games have caused. When he’s playing on the computer then his sister doesn’t have anyone to play with and she does everything in her power to get his attention which drives him (and everyone else) nuts. Then the screaming and fighting begins.
So this weekend we short circuited the whole problem. Instead of moping around the house, hubby found a hike that was family friendly and packed us all up and left all the kids devices behind.
We had a great time, no one fought, the surroundings were beautiful, it was a win-win for everyone.
Back at home there will always be the techno war, it’s inevitable. There will always have to be limits and monitoring on computer and other device usage. I will have to be the bad guy telling them when it’s time to stop. As they grow older this will only grow harder.
It gives me hope that our whole family can do something as simple as walk around a lake and find a happiness that isn’t found anywhere else. Here’s to planning our next hike!