Finally brought Doc and Marty to work with me.
They join everyone else on the other side of the desk (K-2SO is at home with Wyatt right now, special request).
What’s on your desk?
Over the weekend, Wyatt and I played Minecraft for a couple of hours. Straight. I’ve never really understood the game. Sure, I get that it is virtual LEGOS. You can dig caves, build forts, the imagination is the limit. But I didn’t understand Minecraft until I played it co-op with my son.
We started our play session separated from one another. I worked on a castle; Wyatt worked on a village/farm. Eventually we figured out that the game has an in-game map. We found each other!
Wyatt begged me to come see his village. So I did. But my castle called to me, come finish me! So I left. Wyatt followed. My castle soon became a joint creation, our castle. Glowing pumpkins, emerald blocks, materials I would never choose, the boy placed with relish.
Playing the game cooperatively, split-screen, allowed us to create our own in-game narrative. Our creations telling the story of a seven-year-old and a thirty-five-year-old living in a block-filled land.
We have built great things together. Cooperatively, through the magic of Minecraft.
I finally understand.
Since my son was old enough to hold a controller, I have shared my love of videogames with him.
We started with Super Mario Bros. on the family NES. Since then, we have progressed from him passively watching to now actively participating in playing games such as Skylanders and Kirby’s Epic Yarn. At four years old, my son loves videogames and is quite good at them–humble dad brag–.
Screen time, which encompasses the iPad, TV shows, and videogames, has become a hot commodity in our house. If my son had his way, he would never unplug and instead become a digital potato. Not just any potato mind you, a stinky potato.
My struggle as a parent is to balance “screen time” with all of the imaginative play that awaits in my son’s toy box. Hot Wheels, super hero masks, and Legos are but simple gateways to pretend worlds of adventure. Sharing my love of videogames, with my son, has caused him to associate “daddy time” with “time to play videogames”. On the deepest, nerdiest level, I should be proud of this but I’m not. I want more for my son than just virtual worlds. On a selfish level, I want more for myself than to have to spend “precious” game time playing in some sort of G-rated world.
Here is what I am learning though: Videogame time with dad has nothing to do with what videogame is being played or whether or not my son has a controller in his hands. All that matters, ALL THAT MATTERS, is that the two of us are spending time together. If that means that he sits on my lap and watches me play, he is fine with that. He just wants to spend some time with his dad.