Most days I feel like a stranger has replaced my son. This other child only wants to play Minecraft and talk about Minecraft. The games we played last month seem obsolete, and Minecraft occupies his imagination completely. Throughout the day, non-sequiturs in conversation remind me that there is a running train of thought in his head about Minecraft. I cringe when he starts to talk and I realize he's saying something like: Mommy, I know how to tame Ocelots and keep them on a leash and harvest their organs for coal to make torches to keep the zombies away after dark. Or, mommy I can show you how to make a house with a basement and trap doors and you can keep your cows that have mushrooms growing on them in there and then you can scrape the mushrooms off and eat them.
My small child is completely captivated by this game. He seems too young for this sort of obsession. He's just turned six. He can’t even read yet. I have to read things for him, tell him how to spell WOODEN PICKAXE. OBSIDIAN. SPAWN WOLF. He has no way to regulate what is happening to his brain. And he’s such a bitch about it. Once he gets on the computer it’s nearly impossible to get him to stop without tears.
He begs: Please, can I just do one more thing, I just have to finish making this large stone house with a basement and trapdoors over lava that you'll fall in if you try to steal my crafting table. And look, I just put in these doors and levers...
This might sound fun to you. It sounds fun to me. But I am actually so bored and annoyed by the whole thing.
I've even had someone teach me how it works, and had interesting discussions about how clever it is and how relevant this sort of thinking and creativity can be but still, still- I find myself hating the thing that causes the obsession that causes the shaking and hysteria and crying. And the unbelievable amount of anger and frustration I get from him because it's all he wants to do.
I miss my pre-Minecraft child. But there's no going back now.