Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Oh, The Places You'll Build (and Hissing Spiders You'll Destroy)

Grandson is patiently introducing me to a world of diamond pickaxes, hissing spiders, nether reactor cores, and polished andesite. This world is wide open and left to me to put together with a variety of tools, the power of each I still have to learn. I have fallen into Minecraft.

So far I'm pretty hopeless. I've chopped down a lot of trees, I've gone underground and managed - with lots of help from a 5-year-old - to create a sweet little underground bunker, complete with bed and bookcase (you knew there'd be a bookcase, right?), a table with food enough to feed a couple of villagers who appear from nowhere. Just trying to keep away from the spiders and zombies that show up at night takes a lot of energy. But I keep at it, because my ultimate goal is to build a fantastic above-ground city for my retirement years, complete with a diamond-encrusted ferris wheel.

Moving around and chopping through stuff requires hand/eye/button manipulation that I'm still working out. I run into a lot of things and have to figure out the best tool to get out of the situation (always opt for the diamond tools - sword, shovel, pickax, whatever - if you can). Sometimes I end up underwater (don't ask). I try to stay out of the lava. Minecraft-life is hard.

Liam is light-years ahead of me on this. He and his dad team up and play together, but I'm not ready for that, as I'd destroy everything in sight in a matter of moments. Being a Minecraft expert makes guiding a newbie through the intricacies of designing a variety of worlds a frustrating task for the teacher. Occasionally Liam just grabs my phone to get me out of trouble or add to my stock of necessities.

As his fingers fly over the screen, he explains very complex instructions and strategies. I stop paying attention to the game (game? is this a game?) and marvel at his brain-power and vocabulary. Who knew mining required so much mental agility? The poor boy's working with someone who never mastered spider solitaire. Still, if he's willing to stick by me, I'm willing to semi-master this thing.

Besides, all I really want to do is to create a zombie-less world, complete with a diamond ferris wheel. Can you think of a sweeter place to retire?

No comments: