The Joys of Minecraft: Story Mode

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I surprised Wyatt last night with the first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode. He was happy. Commanding the PS4 controller, he guided protagonist Jesse and friends to EnderCon.

“I really wish his name wasn’t Jesse,” Wyatt told me as I put him to bed later on.

“Jesse is both a girl’s name and a boy’s name.”

“Oh.”

And so it began.

The signature of all Telltale Games, dialogue decisions, reared their red eyes like a cave spider. I found myself scrambling to read all of the choices aloud with their corresponding button shapes. Stress. Filled. Chaos.

Dialogue timer is at the bottom of the screen (middle green bar).

Dialogue timer is at the bottom of the screen (middle green bar).

“Hit the triangle button!”

The boy presses the x button, calling someone on screen an idiot.

“Wyatt!”

“I’m sorry!”

Some games click, others don’t. And that’s okay. 

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Tabitha walked into the living room about the time a “hell yeah” was exclaimed twice in a row. One of those classic mom moments. The game had been fine up until then. Positive elements of friendship and being true to yourself had been explored before she walked in. I promise.

Five Nights At Freddy’s and Minecraft: Story Mode are spoken about with reverence in our home. Playground hype has carried the scares of Freddy’s and the tales of the Ender Dragon to our dinner table. I am happy to help the boy gain some playground cred. I’m just not sure we are ready to finish this block-filled adventure.

In fact, we are going to finish up the first episode and call it a day. Maybe we’ll revisit this series in a few years when he is older. Able to read the dialogue at a rapid rate and make decisions. Mature enough to understand the “hell yeah’s” being thrown at him.

We’ll continue exploring the regular version of Minecraft. Jesse will have to adventure on, alone.

We are the gatekeepers

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In Raising a Modern-Day Knight, Robert Lewis encourages dads to model positive media behavior. He says that sons are always watching and listening. Using dad’s actions as a way to filter the world.

Talk about a big responsibility.

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In my house, I’ve realized that my wife and I are gatekeepers. Curators. We preview and engage all media consumed. Not out of some crazy quest for control but out of love for our son. My experience with Aliens, at the neighbors, in first grade, not going to happen to him. This allows us to introduce age appropriate entertainment. Books, movies, television and games consistent with our Christian worldview.

Sometimes these experiences bring about questions and conversations. Which is fantastic. Just the other night we had a short discussion on Five Nights At Freddy’s, a playground topic.

I am learning that I have more influence, as a parent, than I ever knew. I want Wyatt to grow up to make smart decisions, in all areas of life. Media discernment is a great first step in establishing healthy cultural engagement.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

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I am not usually one for thriller/survival horror type videogames. I find that there are already enough crazy things going on in the world that raise my blood pressure. However, my friend Josh did a Let’s Play video for a sweet little game titled Five Nights at Freddy’s. Josh does a great job of showcasing the game within the perfect length of time. Be sure to check out his video below and subscribe to his YouTube channel.